The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Department of Ophthalmology is the beneficiary of a modern specialist eye centre, which will also serve as a West Africa regional surgical training facility.
The new stand-alone centre, named ‘Lions International Eye Centre,’ was made possible through a fundraising campaign, which raised over $3 million, led by Moorfields Eye Hospital (MEH) of the United Kingdom and the Lions Club International (LCI).
Commenting on the new eye centre, Dr. Steven Akafo, a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, said: ‘My vision is that no eye patient should have to leave Ghana for treatment.’
The centre has two theatres, three wards, a minor treatment room, a 12-bed bay, offices and consultants rooms. There is also an optical shop that offers optometry services and dispenses spectacles.
A Past District Governor of LCI, Mrs Gloria Lassey, said the LCI Foundation operated a ‘Sightfirst’ programme which funds the activities of Lions, non-governmental organisations, government agencies and others to fight the major causes of preventable and reversible blindness. She said that the foundation also provided services for people who were blind or visually impaired by supporting eye healthcare delivery systems, training and infrastructure development, particularly in underserved communities throughout the world.
Twelve doctors have benefitted from four surgical training courses, which included glaucoma, small incision cataract surgery, eyelid surgery, and a special course for training of trainers.
‘With the development of this new integrated training and treatment centre, West Africa will be a vanguard for sub-speciality training in ophthalmology, which is very exciting,’ stated Dr. Murdoch.
Dr. Folasade Akinsola, Past Chairman, Faculty of Ophthalmology, West African College of Surgeons, also noted that, ‘developing sub-specialist surgical skills will ensure comprehensive and quality eye health services are available across West Africa, reducing avoidable blindness in line with Vision 2020 objectives.’