….Says NSEC Executive Director Robert Dolo – The Executive Director of the New Sight Eye Center (NSEC) in the Duport Road Community, Paynesville, Robert Dolo, has disclosed that the main aim for the Center’s Medical and Surgical Outreach Program is to make eye treatment accessible and affordable for rural dwellers across the country.
Currently, Mr. Dolo said the Center’s Outreach Program is targeting dwellers in four of Liberia’s fifteen counties which include Rural Montserrado, Lower Bong mainly in the Bong Mines community and adjacent, Grand Cape Mount and Margibi.
“Many of the various eye problems in the country are concentrated in the rural areas and people with these eye problems do not have the mean and the financial capacity to travel to Monrovia to get treated, thus worsening their conditions”, Mr. Dolo pointed out.
This is why the New Sight Eye Center, according to Mr. Dolo with its meager resources and assistance from some organizations and friendly individuals has embarked on the Medical and Surgical Outreach Program to ensures both the have and have not are treated to help in the reduction of blindness in country.
“We have to do all we can to reach those people in the rural communities across Liberia who doesn’t have access to eye health care. Additionally, I am afraid that they may begin to apply “traditional herbs” which might lead them to permanent blindness, Mr. Dolo narrated.
He also said NSEC is also involved in school screening eye testing initiative as part of its Outreach Program, where the eyes of students are tested as well as the distributions of sunglasses and reading glasses to individuals who find it very difficult to reading and to recognize objectives from a distance.
The Center Executive Director further spoke of the tremendous achievements the entity made in 2013 under its Medical Outreach Program. He named “the screening of five thousand people in eighteen communitiesin rural Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount and Margibi Counties, two thousand students under its school testing initiative and tested four thousand people at the Center’s Clinic was then located in the S.D. Cooper Road Community in Paynesville and restored the sight of over five hundred people with cataracts, through eye surgery.
According to Mr. Dolo cataractis one of the major common eye problem that is making people blind in the country.
Mr. Dolo told the In Profile Daily, that over the week-end some sixty residents in Bong Mines Community and surrounding towns in Lower Bong County benefited from a two-day eye surgery initiative that was carried by the Center in collaboration with authorities at the Bong Mines Hospital from Saturday, January 25 to Sunday, January 27.
He stated “that the Bong Mines eye surgery initiative was the Center’s first Medical Outreach Program for 2014 in which over three hundred residents from Hindii, Compound and Bong Mines Community were pre-screened in early January with 75 percent diagnosed with cataracts”.
Mr. Dolo said the surgical initiative in the Bong Mines area will continue in February as a means to fully monitor patients who underwent the first phase and to carry out more surgical eyework on other individuals that lead the Center to constantly visit Bong Mines.
The Executive Director of the New Sight Eye Center said besides the four counties plans are being worked out to extend its Medical Outreach Program to Gbarpolu County in the coming months.
Plans of collaboration are underway the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to increase the Center Medical and Surgical to the four counties mentioned above, Mr. Dolo added. He said the New Sight Eye Center is looking forward to partnership with organizations in and out of Liberia to enhance its Outreach Program to more rural dwellers.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dolo said unlike Monrovia where patients are charged four hundred Liberian Dollars for testing and 100 up to 175 hundred United States Dollars of surgery, it is a big different under its Medical Outreach Program patients in rural Liberia.
For instance they are made to pay LD$25 and 50 to 75 United States Dollars as testing and surgical fees which covers all medications as well. Some time we can just take anything they brought either in cash or kinds, Mr. Dolo told this paper.
“Isn’t it a big help for people in rural communities in the four counties of Liberia such an opportunity to reach them, looking at how expensive surgical eye services are around the world even in Monrovia”, Mr. Dolo mentioned.
However, Mr. Dolo in 2014 the Center Medical Outreach Program will be conducted at least every month in various communities of the four counties including Gbarpolu to treat people that will be identified with cataracts and other eye complications that the entity can perform surgical work on.
He made mentioned of some challenges the New Sight Eye Center are faced with especially in carrying out its Medical Outreach Program in the four. Mr. Dolo named the lack of vehicle to transport its equipment in the Margibi, Bong, Grand Cape Mount and Rural Montserrado Counties.
He said at present the Center has a single vehicle for its Medical Outreach Program which insufficient to effectively conduct the Program in four counties and is appealing for additional vehicles. The Center Executive Director said the one vehicle is being used to transport staffers and other surgical equipment.