Following a week-long visit to Liberia by a 42-person medical team of Liberian eye and mental health professionals from the United States of America, at least 50 surgeries were performed, restoring the eyesight of some who were present for eye treatment.
For the past two weeks at the Redemption Hospital on Bushrod Island, about 42 medical professionals from the US-based Liberia Medical Mission provided pro-bono surgeries to many Liberians who have over the years experienced blindness. The two-week medical mission, a mobile clinic, provided an avenue for people who could not afford.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer, the chairman of the Liberia Medical Mission, Joseph Sackor, said, “This is in support of the Liberian government’s pro-poor agenda.” According to him, the initiative was undertaken by few Liberians who went to the Diaspora, acquired the requisite education, and thought it expedient to mobilize resources to come back to Liberia so as to compliment the efforts of the government.
“We brought two containers full of medical supplies and equipment worth US$1 million and medication worth US$2.1 million — all distributed to clients, clinics and hospitals, “he said.
Sackor told the Daily Observer that Government cannot do it alone; it requires a collective effort to get things done. According to him, based on the level of work done over the two weeks, a lady’s eyesight, which she lost over the past 12 years, was restored.
He also disclosed that about 3,500 reading glasses were distributed to Liberians who needed them most. He noted that the team, during their stay, encountered many patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases at an average of not less than three hundred people. But that number could be much more, according to Sackor.
The medical team was also able to train some surgeons and nurses in a procedure called the Vacuum Assisted Closure (VAC). It is done after a surgery as an effective way of closing a wound. According to Sackor, it also reduces the pain which the patient goes through, following surgery.
Meanwhile, he encourages Liberians, who were not part of the process, most especially the visually-impaired, to remain patient as the team plans another mission. Sackor said that based on what the team has experienced during the two-week mission, they will try to do a research to know the causes of blindness in Liberia.
As part of its contribution to the Liberian government, the team is also expected to send additional surgeons from Florida to perform about 200 to 300 surgeries in the course of two months.