Liberia: 350 People Benefit from Free Eye Surgery in Bong County
Salala, Bong County – No fewer than 350 people in Bong County have benefitted from the latest phase of the Samaritan’s Purse sponsored Free Eye Surgery Outreach program; a program aimed at improving the quality of life of the beneficiaries by restoring their vision through surgical intervention.
It’s a partnership with the New Sight Eye Center and the Ministry of Health.
Speaking at the flag-off of a week-long program, Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Jonathan Flomo, said that sight restoration and prevention of blindness have become the most considered and cost-effective interventionist strategies in the healthcare system.
Dr. Flomo said: “Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend’s face.”
“Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on but with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision.
“At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you to deal with cataracts but if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure,’’ he added.
He noted that over 80 per cent of visual impairment is preventable as they could be treated.
Dr. Flomo assured that government was ensuring that partnership between government and the non-governmental organisations continues, pointing out that the medical team from from the New Eye Center consists of highly qualified surgeons.
According to Galakpai Kolubah, Assistant Health Sector Manager of Samaritan’s Purse, the partnership with the Ministry of Health and the New Eye Center is no doubt a beneficial one, and they have made it an annual mission to reach out to those who are affected by cataract and glaucoma in their early stages before they become complicated and more difficult to remedy.
“This mission commenced about four years ago with high success rate recorded; in the last two years for instance, about 200 patients were operated on and it was a success story in more than five counties in Liberia.”
“This time around, we plan to have at least more than 350 patients to be taken care of in Bong County.’’
He added that the program is a commitment to taking care of the health needs of the people.
Robert Dolo, founder and executive director of New Sight Eye Center, said that the main objective of the program was to restore and save the sight of the needy, adding that efficient healthcare delivery is highly paramount to the organization.
While indicating that his organization’s medical team comprises highly qualified surgeons who are concerned about the vision of the people, Dolo said the partner with the government and Samaritan’s Purse is to save the sight of the needy.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed their appreciation to organisers of the program for the gesture, even as they thanked the government for implementing such program for the less-privileged.
Among dignitaries present at the event was District Six lawmaker Moima Briggs-Mensah and local leaders of the district among others.