New eye health facility serves millions in Ghana
Watborg Eye Services
Central Region and Satellite Eye Unit Project, Western Region
Building continued even on the day of the grand opening of the new facility
Ghana in West Africa is a beautiful country of plains and low plateaus covered in savannah and rainforests. Its beauty, like so many sub-Saharan countries, is marred somewhat by the reality of its living conditions. Of its 24 million inhabitants, more than 200,000 are blind, most from avoidable causes. A significant percentage of its people struggle to meet their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing.
Operation Eyesight has chosen to work in this country because the need is great, and because of the leadership of one of Africa's leading ophthalmologists, Dr. Boateng Wiafe, who serves as our Regional Director for Africa.
With Operation Eyesight support, Dr. Wiafe founded Watborg Eye Services, a private hospital specializing in eye services in Ghana's Central Region. In 2012, we opened a new Watborg facility with the support of dedicated donors. It serves about one million residents in the surrounding area, with the goal of expanding its reach over time.
Services include medical and surgical care for those afflicted with eye diseases; training programs; outreach programs for school screening, diagnostic and treatment services; and education to increase the awareness of blindness as a major public health issue. Watborg is designed to be a model based on international standards that can be replicated elsewhere in Ghana and other African countries.
With donor support, Operation Eyesight is working to strengthen the primary eye care system in Ghana’s Central and Western regions by using Watborg as a base and referral centre. This includes developing 35 district hospitals across Ghana, funded almost entirely by long-time partner Standard Chartered Bank through its Seeing is Believing program.