No journey too long in Ethiopia
Washed out roads and flash floods couldn’t stop HCP’s Ethiopia team from bringing critical eye care services to new communities in the country.
Recently, HCP Co-founder and Chairman Dr. Geoff Tabin along with the HCP Ethiopia team facilitated a surgical outreach at Arba Minch Hospital, an HCP partner in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region of Ethiopia. The area is known for its remote countryside and undeveloped terrain that is home to a wide variety of ethnic communities and peoples, including the Hamar tribe.
In early 2020, two patients from the Hamar tribe made the long journey to an HCP outreach in Hossana, Ethiopia and were among the first people from their community to receive sight-restoring surgery. They inspired the medical teams to organize an outreach event this year that was more accessible to the Hamar with fewer logistical hurdles.
With an outreach at Arba Minch scheduled for the last week of April, advance teams traveled to the Hamar village in the Omo River Valley and provided eye screenings. Those with vision issues were referred to the upcoming outreach. With Arba Minch a full day’s travel from their homes, HCP arranged transportation to and from the outreach for the patients.
Flash flooding and security challenges made patient and team transport more difficult, but members of the Hamar tribe arrived at the outreach safely, along with patients from surrounding areas.
During the eight-day outreach, Dr. Tabin and a handful of Ethiopian surgeons completed 1,055 sight-restoring surgeries on adults and children, sending patients back to their communities with their vision restored.