(Buchanan City, Grand Bassa) The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Samaritan’s Purse in collaboration with New Sight Eye Center over the weekend concluded a free Medical and surgical outreach in the Port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, as a way of eradicating blindness among people in the Country.
The exercise which began on August 17 -28 at the Liberia Government Hospital Eye Center did not only attract patients within the County to the Eye Hospital but also gathered patients from surrounding counties of Grand Bassa, including Margibi, Rivercess, and Sinoe Counties. Patients who were booked outside of the port city of Buchanan were trucked by Samaritan Purse, enabling them free access to the facility.
According to the Ministry’s statement, the influx of patients—close to two thousand—was predicated upon massive awareness initially created by the Ministry and partners, who believe the lives of citizen matter.
The cost of the free medical and surgical eye operation which is put at around US$15,000.00 was funded by Samaritan’s Purse, while New Sight Eye Center served as an implementing partner.
Making a brief statement on behalf of the government and the Ministry, Dr. Joseph Kerkulah, National Eye Health Program Director of MOH, said: “A total of 281 cases were booked; out of the number, 256 were cataracts while 25 were relatively inconsequential eye related cases.”
As a result of high sun rays which could hamper newly regained sight persons, Dr. Kerkulah said they have distributed marque new sunglasses among the patients to resist the sunray.
He, however, lauded Samaritan’s Purse and the New Sight Eye Center for unremittingly buttressing government’s efforts during these times of pandemic, and reassumed the government’s commitment and collaboration with partners to providing and delivering quality health services for all Liberians. “The Lion Club-Liberia is sponsoring about ten eye surgeons currently. Upon their graduation, they will be assigned to most of our hospitals across the Country to particularly treat patients with blindness,” he indicated.
The Ministry’s press statement further noted that most people who regained new sight were adults, constituting about 95% of the total number of patients who underwent the surgical operation.
“Now I can see people from distance—anywhere you stand I will see you”, Rufus K. Jomah, 73, explained following a successful surgical eye operation. “Firestone retired me because I did barely see people images as a truck driver, therefore I requested for retirement.”
The surgical outreach ended with a program, with supporting and implementing partners using the occasion to appreciate the government for providing them the space to contribute to humanity, especially in the Country’s health sector.
Director of Communication, MOH