Kokrobite Eye Health, Micro Business, and Education

What can be done in Ghana villages

Kokrobite Eyes

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The porpose of this letter is to: a) Thank the friends who have contributed to the Kokrobite Eye Health Project b ) and to show what has been done with their money. c) To solicit more money for the completion at the orrigional project.
Here is Kartee’ Karloweah’s RN ON’s (Ophthalmic Nurse) – diagnosis on camera – noting the compassion he exhibits toward 70 year old Samuel Quar? with “fingers of opaque material across his eyes.”

Dox Kartee writes: Mr. Justice Agho, 52 years old one blind is totally blind (staphaloma) and the other has immature cataract with Refractive error of -2.50. He will need cataract extraction in the near future.

We live near Langma one ot 8 fishing and farming villages surounding Kokrobite. Two years ago I happened to meet two young neighbors with serious eye problems when a story appeared in the paper about volunteer ophthalmologists working in the country. One had a blind eye and the other could not simultaneously point his head and eyes at the same object because of defective eye muscles. A web search soon led me to Unite For Sight and eventually to mounting of this project.

Many of our neighbors have never had eye care. They live on a dollar a day as, as crewman (2-15) on fishing canoes, subsistence farmers and petty traders. Perhaps they resorted to bush medicine which may have been cheaper but is not usually effective eye health cases as it is for some other tropical diseases. Sadly when our screening project got under way I realized that with neither information nor money the people too many must have simply watched themselves go blind in slow motion.

However they are not simply passive. When word of our project circulated across the villages more than 600 signed on for screening. 140 have been screened and treated. Included here are pictures of some of these older victims of eye disease, and injury.

img_00231.jpgOn May 23 & 31 2007 140 villagers were screened 31 people (21%) were found to require cataract surgery and four (3%) requiring more specialized interventions several of whom are pictured above.

0028 of elderly woman.

0029 ..who could not see technician Dorcas’s fingers held up at half the distance to the eye chart!

0034 man with cataract in his good eye and and the other totally blind. How many years ago did he loose his eye?
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0040 child with blue cancerous eye.

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0004 here with her blind mother and sister
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With out outreaches such children would not have been found and treated before suffering permanent damage occurs.

0005 the same and Mr. Otu is a neighborhood hero who watched out for both this family and who tracked Atteh Tagoe who I met 2 years ago nobody could find him.
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43 Here even before surgery Atteh Tegoe (met in ’05) looks pretty normal but he is the one who not point both his head and his eyes at the same object at the same time. Probably here he was looking off to the side while facing in the direction of my voice. His surgery was successful.img_00432.jpg
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0030 checking sight of little boy

 

0036 wall eyed baby Babby and doting mother who requires eye muscle surgery. On 22/5/07 the first eye was successfully repaired the other later.
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0036 being fitted for glassesimg_00332.jpg

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0039 Boy with severe conjunctivitis. He would have had permanently impaired sight in a few years without proper medicine.

When we undertook this project we could mostly guess at costs. As it turned out lump sum screening and surgical care came out to $20 per patient. Our project picked up the tab for transport to clinics, some medication, special case surgeries, and for “gong gongs” – (village announcements) to hard working people who leave for their fields before dawn and fishermen who put to sea even earlier. Women do most of the farming in Africa.

Unite For Sight (UFS) sent technicians to Kokrobite and provided surgeons to do cataract surgeries at their clinics near Accra.

UFS http://uniteforsight.org is an eye care NGO with world wide reach was founded by Doctor Jennifer Staple when she was a Yale under graduate and is administered in Ghana by Professor Osei Darkwa. Now she is an Opthalmogical Intern at Stanford University.

Subsequently Mrs. Fuzie Adams has had a small parade of people who have come with their families (typical Ghanaian courtesy) to her Oshiyie office to thank Farf Fataale, UFS, and contributors in America for this project.

With these numbers we can estimate the probable cash needs for the remaining 460 + people signed up for phase 2 of the Project. We need to raise additional money in the form of one time contributions to provide $1300/week until everybody has been screened, treated and been given glasses. Thus it will take about 8 weeks pluss and cost about $10,400 to complete the work.

Any amount amount that you can send to the Kokrobite Eyes Project will be tremendously appreciated especially by our village people whose sight will be saved with your money.

At first I worried about being of diverted from Micro Financing. That is not quite the case. Remove little Adjuwa’s blind and cancerous eye, make sure her good eye is ok, get her into primary school and she will be back in the race as a productive citizen. Why would we not see her in a few years applying for the small business loan which will enable her to both gain more for herself, her family from the heavy labor that awaits her in life. Simply put if she were not to get this surgery her life of labor would be denied both her and her children. This is the cycle that must be broken. And if we had not put on the outreach she might never have been see by UFS, doctors and etc.

Contributions to this project may be paid either to:

Kokrobite Eye Health Project, c/o George Pope, 2280 Bunker Hill Drive, San Mateo CA

and in Ghana by calling

Ofei T. Adams (Fuzie – Farf Fataale) at 0244 649 512 and at 020 88 93 065 or by email to farf_fataale@yahoo.com

http://uniteforsight.org Of course UFS merits financial support too.

Thanking you in advance and best regards

George and Wanda Pope

Triumphant returned from Hospital.

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0026 George Pope, Mrs. Fuzie Adams, Kartee Karloweah RN ON (Opthalmic Nurse), Mrs. Wanda Pope

 

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Project villages: Kokrobite, Langma, Oshiyie, Botianor, Tosokome, Aplaku, Tuba and Nyanyaano

This is from the from the Ghana Government 1975 series that are much like the US style quadrangles. I will provide a better citation when I return Ghana and will also track down more up to date maps of the area.

To determine scale and distance on this map your best bet is to use average “MP” (mile post) distances on Weniaba Highway.

There may be just enough latitude and longitude data here to use either one of the great circle calculator web pages or shareware software but I haven’t had time go into this. Thanks in advance to any body who can provide advise as to how to do this.

I wish to thank Mrs Fuzie Adams not only for her tireless work on the Krokrobite Eye Health project but also for her advocacy supporting women, children and men in our eight neighboring villages. Please read all about this at:

http://www.fataaleruralfoundation.org

George Pope

San Mateo CA 10/17/07

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Written by george pope

June 6, 2007 at 4:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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