Optical Center Opens in Monrovia With Hopes To Restore Eyesight

Monrovia – President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf hopes many eyesight would be restored when she cut the ribbon to the Liberia Eye Center at the JFK Hospital in Sinkor.

Report by Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, bettie.mbayo@frontpageafricaonline.com

The center will perform cornea transplant, a first in West Africa.

At the opening program, Sirleaf praised partners for committing themselves to help in rebranding the country’s health system.

She said many a time kids in Liberia don’t undergo eye tests when they are born, something which leads to continual eye problem.

“When we do the cornea transplant, it will be the first in West Africa—once again, Liberia will have the best and we owe it to our partners.”

Touching on constant refusal of patients by the hospital, she said nurses and doctors must place patients on the front burner.

“I wish some of the nurses were here.”

“The health of our people are not in the hands of the doctor, if someone comes to the hospital and you don’t respond to them, you have put their lives at stake – it’s a collective effort and we must all must work to improve the country’s health system.”

Also speaking, Dr. Rao Nagereswara Gullapali of the LV Prasad Eye Institute in India said he was overwhelmed by the facility and the job it is expected to do.

He disclosed that the center, in past 4 months, have dealt with over 2,000 patients at the facility.

“It is our dream by 2030, no Liberian should be needlessly blind so we will work with the Government of Liberia to improve the country health sector especially the optical area.”

He added that it’s time that no one develops an eye problem because the facility will be at an affordable cost from US$5 to US$50.

He revealed that the first cornea operations on five patients are expected to be done on Monday afternoon.

The clinic has three consultation rooms, according to Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn.

She said the government will sign a 5-year contract with LV Prasad Eye Institute in helping to build the capacity of Liberian doctors.

She recalled that the eye center was possible following President Sirleaf’s visit to India in 2013.

Dr. Wvannie Scott-McDonald commended the Government and partners for the center and promised that the administration of the hospital will work to improve and expand the facility.

JFK Hospital
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