The Ghana Association of Former International Civil Servants (GAFICS) has donated $2,100 to Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic to cover the costs of bringing 30 patients from rural areas to Accra for surgery.
The amount also covered their return, follow-up visits, housing and feeding overnight.
Mr Kwaku Osei Bonsu, President of GAFICS, presented the cheque to Dr Thomas Tontie Baah, the Medical Director of Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic at a ceremony in Accra.
GAFICS constitute a pool of Ghanaians, who served with the United Nations (UN) and its specialised agencies, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank, as well as other reputable international organisations.
GAFICS was incorporated under the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179) on 26th September 2000 and formally inaugurated in April 2001.
Mr Osei Bonsu, in his remarks, noted that one of the primary aims of the GAFICS was to give back to society.
“The nation has made us who we are now and thus we are desirous to give back to society by placing our skills and expertise wherever and whenever needed,” he said.
“In light of this objective, each member contributes each year to the Special Project Fund. We have established a Projects Committee to receive and vet project proposals for sponsorship by the Association.”
He said the Association, had in the past, provided support to educational institutions, as well as NGO’s promoting environmental awareness campaign.
He said in 2021, the Projects Committee received five project proposals and after reviewing them, recommended that the proposal by the Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic entailed an outreach programme for eye testing and cataract surgery of vulnerable people in deprived districts of the Volta Region be funded.
He noted that the Association was aware that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) provides for the surgery and medicines of the patients; saying “however, we all know the challenges these rural people go through to access quality services”.
“We have been assured by the Clinic that some of the patients might have NHIS Cards, and that the Clinic will seek reimbursement from NHIS.”
Mr Osei Bonsu said these funds, when received, would be used to replenish surgical consumables and medicines, or to subsidize additional rural patients.
He commended all members of GAFICS for their sacrifice in contributing to the Special Projects Fund.
Receiving the cheque, Dr Baah lauded GAFICS for the kind gesture; declaring that “GAFICS seems to have recognized the challenges that patients face with regard to accessing cataract surgery”.
“They have come here to lend support to Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic in its fight against needless cataract blindness in Ghana.
“They have come here to present a cheque to the clinic to pay for cataract surgery for 30 patients with blinding cataract. Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic is most grateful to GAFICS for their generous support.”
He said Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic, since its establishment 12 years ago, had been playing a leading role in the fight against needless cataract blindness especially among the rural and urban poor.
Professor Mahama Duwiejua of the University of Ghana, who chaired the function, lauded Dr Baah and the Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic for their efforts in providing health services to Ghanaians, especially those in the rural areas.
He also commended GAFICS for supporting Save the Nation’s Sight in the fight against cataract blindness in the country.