Profile: Dr. Boateng Wiafe
Dr. Boateng Wiafe, a senior Ghanaian ophthalmologist, has helped advise HCP since 2012 on reducing rates of unnecessary blindness in Ghana. Dr. Wiafe completed his medical and ophthalmology training in Romania. When he first connected with HCP, he had just returned to Ghana from Zambia where he served as an ophthalmologist for over 20 years.
Dr. Wiafe returned to start a private eye clinic, Watborg Eye Services located just outside of the capital. At that same time, he also assumed the position of Director of Quality and Assurance for the Canadian NGO, Operation Eyesight Universal (OEU). He has been an active participant in working committees of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and served as the lead investigator of the 2015 National Blindness and Visual Impairment Study.
“I enjoy the work I do because of the life changing effect of sight restoration on the individual and the family,” Dr. Wiafe said. “When you restore sight to someone in the developing world, you restore his or her dignity. In fact six months after one gets their sight restored, they look different.”
In 2014, HCP partnered with Operation Eyesight Universal (OEU) to strengthen eye care in Ghana’s central and western regions whereby HCP provided support for Dr. Wiafe and his team to strengthen the capacity of local teams. Dr. Wiafe helped expand HCP’s network of local implementing partners and other service providers. Dr. Wiafe has continued to play a key role for HCP in Ghana, supporting activities to expand our reach including helping to found the National Cataract Outreach Program.
Dr. Wiafe’s current clinical team includes his wife Ruth, an ophthalmic nurse who focuses on skills transfer for mid-level eye care personnel working in cataract and community eye health, and his son Geoffrey, also an ophthalmologist who completed ophthalmology training in Uganda and recently completed a COECSA fellowship. The team travels frequently to provide care and training to hundreds each year.
Dr. Wiafe shared that his hope for the future of eye care in Ghana is “to make quality eye health services accessible and affordable to all Ghanaians.”
“The slogan is ‘one district, one vision centre,’” Dr. Wiafe said. “Eye care services should be as accessible as maternal health care services where a mother in labor can access help in any health facility, no matter how remote in the country they are located.”
We can’t say enough about Dr. Bo and his accomplishments. We are thankful for his partnership and his dedication to improving the lives of all Ghanaians!