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04.04.2007 Health

KATH Undertakes Corneal Transplant For Seven Patients

A medical team from the Moran Eye Centre at the University of Utah in the United States of America, in conjunction with its counterpart at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, has successfully undertaken corneal transplant for seven patients who were suffering from various eye defects.

The successful surgery was the first of its kind at the KATH by medical officers and the patients were among 250 patients who were screened by the medical team.

The exercise was intended to offer relief to the patients and also build the capacity of the KATH medical team for its future endeavours.

The cost of the corneal transplant was estimated at ¢15 million, but the patients, who benefited from the exercise, paid a token of ¢300,000. Those with minor eye diseases were treated free of charge.

The treatment of other eye defects, such as cataract, glaucoma, trabectomy, squint and cosmetic surgeries among other defects, also started on Monday and would continue until Friday.

The head of the eight member medical team from the Moran Eye Centre, Professor Alan Crandal, who spoke to newsmen after the successful surgical operation, said about 400 patients with various eye defects were expected to be screened and treated to enhance their eye sight.

He said the corneal transplant was the beginning of efforts to provide adequate health care to patients with eye defects and said the ages of the beneficiary patients of last Saturday's programme ranged from 20 to 35.

Professor Crandal said patients who had been diagnosed to have cataract and blurred vision, as well as children with eye problems who had already been screened, were expected to benefit from the exercise.

The Chief Executive Officer of the KATH, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, commended the team from the Moran Eye Centre for their continued support to the KATH in offering humanitarian services to patients in the catchment area.

He also commended them for donating various medical equipment, including microscopes, intra ocular lenses and drugs estimated at ¢518 million, to the KATH.

Commenting on the Eye Care Centre, which is expected to be established at the KATH, Dr Nsiah-Asare said it was one of the strategic plans to realise the vision of the KATH for achieving a centre of excellence of international repute.

Story by George Ernest Asare

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