FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Restoring the gift of sight to improve lives: R4HS Foundation expands charitable efforts to tackle avoidable blindness in Ghana, West Africa
In a continent with over 1.2 billion people, approximately 26 million individuals suffer from visual impairments. Tragically, a significant number of these cases are avoidable, but due to poverty and limited resources, they remain untreated, affecting the lives of countless individuals.
Recognizing the urgency of this global issue, Relief for Human Suffering Foundation (R4HSF) is proud to announce the expansion of our charitable mission to Ghana, West Africa through a new partnership with St. Thomas Eye Hospital, one of Ghana’s foremost centers for performing advanced and complex eye surgical procedures with strong commitment to delivering low cost care to the poor and needy through collaboration with reputable non-governmental organizations. We are dedicated to creating a sustainable world where access to proper eye care is not determined by birthplace or ethnicity.
Founder and President of R4HSF, Benson Fayehun, emphasizes the importance of trusted local partnerships, which serve as the cornerstone of our vision. “With great excitement, we extend our charity’s reach to another African nation through this new partnership and pilot program,” said Fayehun.
Ghana, a low middle income, stable democratic West African country with a population of 32.8 million (2021), a GDP per capita of $2,177 (2021), and a high unmet eye care need is the next frontier of our efforts. It currently has about 120 ophthalmologists serving the entire country. The majority of these ophthalmologists (>65%) are in the national capital and its environs. Two regions have only one while seven out of the 16 administrative regions have no ophthalmologists at all. With Cataract responsible for over 50% of the estimated 246,000 blindness burden in the region, a backlog of cataracts needing surgeries of around 265,000 and an annual incidence (new arrivals) of cataract blindness of 32,800 (1000 per million people per year), there is a cataract burden of some 64,000 cases that need to be operated annually in order to cater for the ‘new arrivals’.
Our pilot program, set to take place in the latter part of 2023, will help address these pressing needs head-on. With the generous funding provided by R4HSF, the initiative will encompass comprehensive routine eye screenings, transformative cataract surgeries, and the effective treatment of pterygium cases. This three-month endeavor is merely the beginning, with the possibility of expansion upon successful completion.
“Ghana’s recent cataract surgical output has been 9,579 (2020), 18,907 (2021) and 25,347 (2022) with correspondent Cataract Surgical Rates of 301, 610, and 818 respectively. These figures are far below the WHO minimum cataract surgery rate requirement of 2,500 for a country like Ghana. The implication is that Ghana’s cataract burden is increasing by an average of some 40,000 each year and will continue to get bigger if drastic measures are not taken. That is why we are very excited about this partnership with R4HSF and we look forward to a very successful pilot and continued collaboration afterward” said Dr. Michael E. Gyasi, founder St. Thomas Hospital
Through generous contributions of our dedicated volunteers, who are the lifeblood of our organization, Relief for Human Suffering Foundation has been able to allocate 100% of public donations to our mission since our founding. And in harmony with our steadfast local partners, we have touched the lives of over 10,000 people through vital routine eye screenings, revolutionary cataract surgeries, and vision-correcting interventions across communities in Nigeria and Cameroon since 2021. But the journey is far from over. As we extend our reach to Ghana, we call upon every individual and organization to join us in this transformative pursuit. Together, we can kindle a radiant flame of hope, dispelling the darkness of preventable blindness and guiding countless lives towards a brighter, clearer future.
“We are committed to making the world a better place, but we cannot achieve this alone. We invite kind-hearted individuals and organizations worldwide to join us in this vital cause. Join us in our journey to transform lives and create lasting change. Contribute your time, talent, and resources, and help us make a profound difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Africa who need our support,” Fayehun stated passionately.
Together, we can restore the gift of sight and alleviate suffering caused by easily treatable medical conditions in developing countries.
For more information on Relief for Human Suffering Foundation and our impactful work, or to volunteer or donate to our cause, please visit our website. Stay connected with our journey by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, where we share stories of transformation and progress (@r4hsfoundation). Be a part of our Community of Changemakers and stand a chance to win a free volunteering trip to Africa.
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