The Heaven of Love Children’s Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has conducted free cataract surgery for about 300 residents of Zebilla and its environs in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region.
The NGO earlier screened residents for various eye conditions, and the beneficiaries of the surgery, who were mostly the aged, were found to have mature cataracts and needed surgical procedures to correct them.
Mr Samuel Nana Bekai Djirackor, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation, said the surgeries were conducted in collaboration with the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) and the All Grace Health and Evangelistic Consult.
He said the Foundation basically focused on the total welfare of children, health, sanitation, education, child protection and women empowerment.
He said the week-long surgery was as a result of eye screening exercise conducted in February 2022 in the District with about 1500 people from seven communities within the District screened and diagnosed with various eye conditions.
“And on the backdrop of the screening exercise, we had 300 people who needed cataract surgery. So, we are in the Zebilla District Hospital to conduct the surgery. Our Foundation is focused on the love of Christ, and the love of Christ is practical.
“Like the Bible says, let’s not love in words, but in deeds. So, we are showcasing that love practically to help the less privileged and vulnerable who cannot take care of themselves, and also help parents to live healthily to take care of their children,” the CEO said.
He said the Foundation had operated in the Bawku West District for the past four years, with funding support from friends and family members, and appealed for support from corporate organizations to extend its services to other Districts in the Region.
“The dream is to touch lives with the Sustainable Development Goals one, two, three, four, six, eleven and twelve,” Mr Djirackor said.
Reverend Dr Lordson Dagba, the Upper East Regional Ophthalmologist who led a team of Ophthalmologists and Ophthalmic nurses to conduct the surgeries, said some of the identified cataracts were due to infections and old age.
He explained that the lens in the eyes of some beneficiaries of the surgery, were opaque and needed to be removed to give them better vision, noting that poor vision was normal in some cases with the aged due to cataracts, glaucoma among others.
Reverend Dr Dagba said cataracts were treatable conditions and surgery restored good vision to victims while glaucoma and retina diseases could only be managed and not fully treated, “If it is well managed, the patient can get good vision.”
He urged members of the public to visit eye clinics to have their eyes checked and desist from any form of local treatment for their eye conditions, “So it is advisable that anyone with poor vision at any point in life must seek proper eye care in eye clinics.”
The Regional Ophthalmologist said situations where people relied on local treatment could worsen their eye conditions to the extent that the damage caused may be irreversible.
Some beneficiaries, who had undergone the surgery and were in the recovery theatre, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that they could not have afforded the cost of the surgery, and would have gone blind with time.
They expressed gratitude to the Foundation for the initiative, and prayed that God would continue to bless them, so that they wuldcontinue to support the vulnerable in deprived communities.