MONROVIA-One of Liberia’s fore-most eye health care delivery institutions in the country, the New Sight Eye Center has concluded its First Symposium and 5th year–end meeting in Liberia on how it can make it services accessible and affordable to the people of the country and countries in the sub-region.
The symposium and year-end meeting concomitantly took place from Monday, December 19 thru Wednesday, December 21 at the New Sight Eye Center in the 72nd Community, Paynesville, Montserrado County.
It brought together over 30 participants and facilitators from Nimba, Grand Bassa, and Montserrado Counties including Ghana to brainstorm on reviewing the NSEC 2022 activities and how to develop a strategic and workable plan for 2023.
During the three days of gathering several topics were deliberated on including internal control, work ethics, care of ophthalmic equipment in clinical practice, care management in the clinical ophthalmic center, clinical assessment and management of glaucoma, and good sterile technique and sterilization.
Other topics were care of ophthalmic surgical and clinical instruments, internet threat, data management and control, an overview of the national eye health policy and plan, running an effective ophthalmic school and community outreach program, fundraising strategies and refraction in a clinical setting, among others.
As part of the gathering, highlights for 2023 0n New Sight Eye Center in Paynesville, Montserrado, Liberia Government Hospital in Buchanan, Grand Bassa and Jackson F. Doe Memorial Regional Referral Hospital in Tappita District, Nimba Counties were discussed.
Speaking at the end of the gathering, NSEC Executive Director, Robert F. Dolo and the Dr. Unity Honey Dokie – Fahn, of the Liberia Government Hospital in Buchanan said synchronizing the entity’s eye healthcare services will make it more effective and efficient in providing Liberians with the needed services.
Mr. Dolo and Dr. Fahn: “Over the past years the eye health care services of NSEC were fragmented as every eye health hub providers in Buchanan, Tappita and Montserrado were operating differently, something that has not augur well for the center in its operations”.
But with this, the two eye health practitioners narrated that the services will be the same and this will enable the New Sight Eye Center to increase its services to hundreds of thousands of Liberians including foreigners.
They however, extended thanks and appreciation to the many local and international partners including the government of Liberia through the Health Ministry for collaborating with NSEC that enable it to treat people with various eye problems across Liberia and neighboring countries.
Mr. Dolo and Dr. Fahn then praised the participants for their 2022 services and cautioned them to re-double the efforts to make 2023 a promising year in the provision of eye health care to the citizenry.
Meanwhile, a strategic and workable plan for 2023 for the New Sight Eye Center was developed, among which focus to decrease the prevalent rate of avoidable eye health conditions by 30 percent in target communities, increased knowledge and awareness of eye health conditions by 50 percent in target communities, implement four awareness campaigns through a multimedia approach and health education each targeting 100 communities in 2023.
The plan also focused on at least 50 percent of diagnosed patients in target communities will have access to treatment, looking to directly deliver services to 46,000 people through clinical consultations and outreaches, to formally open Gbarnga Vision Center, recruit and build the capacity of eye health professionals locally or internationally as well as initiate an operational research so as to ascertain the extent and outcome of eye health services across Liberia.
As part of the NSEC 2023 plan, it will further reinforce collaboration between the entity and Liberian Government, increase Human Resource capacity building in eye health Services, improve existing relationships with partners and seek for more partners and initiate projects for more vision centers in rural Liberia including increase school eye health screening program.
However, NSEC indicated that despite the successes in 2022 it was challenged with the lack of vehicle for monitoring, learning, supervision, medical and surgical outreaches in rural Liberia, limited human resources towards eye health care services delivery, poor infrastructure for the implementation of eye health in the rural parts of Liberia couples with donor’s fatigue in term of the funding.
In a related development, the New Sight Eye Center (NSEC) has honored several of its partners for their mammoth support to the entity as it reaches out it eye healthcare services to the people of Liberia and residents in neighboring countries.
The partners are SEGAL Family Foundation (SFF) based in the United States of America, Rotary Club of Sinkor, Lions Clubs of Liberia, Americares, Samaritans Purse International-Liberia, PAMODZI Philanthropy Advisors (PPA) and Sightsavers.
Speaking Saturday, January 7, at the honoring and certification program held at the Paynesville Town, Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Francis Kateh indicated that service-based institutions in Liberia can make a greater impact on the lives of the citizens.
Dr. Kateh said though their service-based institutions, they will be able to align their various visions with their actions. He said once they begin to do this, their institutions will be more effective and efficient in their service delivery to the people of Liberia.
He pointed out to the New Sight Eye Center for aligning it vision, mission and action with passion in the eye healthcare services in Liberia.
For his part, New Sight Eye Center Board Chair, Boakai Ngiama, says if Liberia is to meet universal access to eye health, allotment must be made in the national budget for eye healthcare.
Mr. Ngiama said eye health services being provided in Liberia by the Center is through a private partnership with the Health Ministry. He said once the allotment in made it will enable the New Sight Eye Center and other eye healthcare providers to extend their services across the country.
Also speaking, the Center Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Dolo thanked partners for the numerous support to the entity and vowed to eye healthcare accessible and affordable to the people.
In response, the representatives of several organizations thanked the New Sight Eye Center (NSEC) for the huge impact it continues to make in meeting the eye healthcare delivery needs of the people.
“They pledged their continue commitment and support in collaborating with NSEC through funding and materials to help the New Sight Eye Center to do more eye healthcare services in reducing blindness amongst the people”.