If the pronouncement that the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor would soon get a modern and up-to-date eye center is anything to go by, than those suffering from treatable eye problems can breathe a sigh of relief as their ‘lights’ are about to be turned on.
Authorities of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center were elated Tuesday, February 18, when visiting Indian eye specialists made the pronouncement in the conference room of the hospital.
Dr. (MD) Gullapali N. Rao, founder of the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), said his institution would, in 12 to 18 months, get the new and modern eye center at the hospital setup and running.
“This is because we are a non-for-profit entity. We are going to use our contacts to secure all the needed equipment that this center would need so that people with eye problems can be adequately treated,” Ophthalmologist (eye doctor) Rao stated.
Dr. Rao further stated that they really want to help because Liberia like India, is a developing country with enormous problems. He also stated that while the problems may seem too big, but Liberia has an advantage of a small population and if the joint partnership project between JFK and LVPEI is structured well and implemented, it is very likely that something worthwhile can be achieved.
He used the occasion to praise President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and India’s Honorary Consul General to Liberia, Mr. Upjit Singh Sachdeva (Jeety), for asking them to come to Liberia to help Liberians suffering from eye diseases.
According to the Indian Medical Specialist, part of the partnership from their side would include: training, putting the system together, getting international NGOs on board, etc.
“The LV Prasad Eye Institute offers comprehensive patient care, clinical research, sight enhancement and rehabilitation, community eye health, education, and product development. It is a WHO Collaborating Center for Prevention of Blindness equipped with cutting-edge technology and distinguished professionals in the field of eye care. It emphasizes the provision of quality eye care to people from all walks of society. The Eye Institute is a non-profit organization governed by the Hyderabad Eye Institute and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation,” a JFK release stated.
Also speaking was Dr. Billy C. Johnson, Chief Medical Officer, JFK Hospital, who expressed his joy over the news and said the partnership included further training for the single eye doctor that JFK currently has.
Dr. Johnson, who did not say how many caseloads this single ophthalmologist treats twice a week, added that most times treating patients could be a daunting task for him alone; especially when coupled with the lack of up-to-date eye equipment.
He disclosed that there are many eye problems which have popped up and that there was the need for a well-equipped center to treat them.
He listed some as glaucoma, cataracts, and visual impairment among others.
He stressed that even doctors and other affluent members of society could go blind, and that loss of sight was not only a problem associated with poor people. Therefore, the need for them to do all they could to get the center up and running was of the highest importance to all Liberians.
Part of JFK’s responsibilities would be to provide an adequate and furnished space for the center.