The Heaven of Love Children’s Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (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 some, mostly the aged, were found to have mature cataracts and needed surgical procedures to correct them.
Mr Samuel Nana Bekai Djirackor, the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, said the surgeries were conducted in collaboration with the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) and the All Grace Health and Evangelistic Consult.
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 because of the eye screening exercise conducted in February 2022 in the district, with about 1,500 people from seven communities screened.
“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,” he said.
“Like the Bible says, let us not love in words but in deeds. So, we are showcasing that love to help the less-privileged and vulnerable who cannot take care of themselves and help parents to live healthily to take care of their children” he 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 organisations 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, 11 and 12,” 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 said some of the people had opaque lenses and needed to be removed through surgery noting that poor vision was normal in some cases, especially with the aged, due to cataracts and glaucoma.
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, adding; “If it is well managed, the patient can get a good vision.”
He urged the public to visit eye clinics to have their eyes checked and desist from any form of local treatment for eye conditions, “So it is advisable that anyone with poor vision at any point in life must seek proper eye care at the eye clinics.”
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 ward, told the Ghana News Agency 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 for God’s blessings over them to continue to support the vulnerable.