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Dr. Seth Lartey

profiles | Ghana | Jul 29, 2022

Dr. Seth Lartey is a familiar name to those connected to the Himalayan Cataract Project. As one of the most senior ophthalmologists in Ghana, HCP has benefited immensely from his experience and dedication.

As the then-new Head of Department at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr. Lartey met HCP co-Founder Dr. Geoff Tabin in 2006. When Dr. Tabin noticed a need for a dedicated eye center at the hospital, Dr. Lartey led the initiative with HCP to build and construct the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Eye Center that was inaugurated in 2014 and was built with support from USAID / ASHA funds and HCP donors. One of the goals of the new facility was to attract more medical students into the field of ophthalmology - a plan that has come to fruition since the Eye Center’s opening.

Under Dr. Lartey‘s eight years of leadership as head of the Eye Unit, there has been substantial growth in the program. The number of practicing ophthalmologists currently working in the eye unit has increased to over 20 - 13 faculty and 12 residents - compared to just six ophthalmologists and six residents in 2014. During Dr. Larty’s tenure, over 25 ophthalmologists have been trained by the eye unit, including six fellows. The KATH Eye Center also houses active clinics in the sub-specialities including pediatrics, glaucoma, oculoplastics, retina and cornea.

As a Senior Lecturer for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Lartey continues to pass knowledge and expertise down to future generations of eye care professionals. Dr. Lartey is a committed advocate for expanding eye care access in Ghana. He leads the charge to create a Ghanaian subspecialty fellowship in anterior segment and cornea, and to establish an eye bank that would make cornea tissue readily available in the country.

Dr. Lartey has implemented over 40 cataract outreach campaigns and performed thousands of surgeries in all the regions of Ghana except the Greater Accra region. His desire to improve eye care access and quality in Ghana has led him to encourage residents to join cataract surgical interventions to improve their surgical skills. Dr. Lartey was also a key figure in developing the National Cataract Outreach Program (NCOP) in 2017. The NCOP is a partnership between HCP and Ghana’s Ministry of Health that appoints leaders to organize surgical outreach events to eliminate the backlog of patients awaiting cataract surgery. The NCOP has steadily increased the number of surgeries provided in the country each year.

Dr. Lartey has been actively involved in the Ophthalmological Society of Ghana (OSG) where he served as Vice President for four years and then President for four years. Under his leadership, there was a notable increase in commitment to OSG activities. In 2019, Dr. Lartey received the Ministry of Health’s Best Ophthalmologist of the Year Award. He is the current Chair of the Faculty of Ophthalmology of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, the governing body responsible for training and certification of the country’s future eye care leaders.

“I’m amazed at the progress of eye care in Ghana since my first trip in 2006,” remarked Dr. Geoffrey Tabin, HCP Co-founder and Chairman. “Seth was the first ophthalmologist I met and has grown into a capable leader in eye care as a cornea specialist, cataract surgeon and more importantly a great teacher.”

 

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