The Wait is Over in South Sudan
In 2020, HCP sent medical supplies and equipment to South Sudan in anticipation of surgical outreach opportunities. But, when Covid-19 struck, those outreach events were postponed - leaving many awaiting critical eye care.
Now, the Southern Sudan Healthcare Organization (SSHCO) and HCP are working with the Ophthalmological Association of South Sudan (OASS) to restore sight to those who have been waiting.
With support from HCP, Dr. Kenneth Sube, President of OASS, along with local personnel and a team of 14 eye care professionals from South Sudan, is busy working in Yirol in Lakes State.
To date, the team has performed 788 surgeries - 720 of which were cataract surgeries.
Dr. Sube said this outreach opportunity is the first of its kind for OASS.
“Thank you for giving us this opportunity,” Dr. Kenneth said. “This eye camp was the first eye camp conducted by the Association of Ophthalmology Society in South Sudan. The patients we operated on greatly appreciate it...and people were amazed at how many we operated on.”
One of the patients operated on was a 28-year-old man who had a wife and two children; after he went blind, his wife and children left him because he couldn’t provide for the family. His restored sight has given him hope for returning to a productive life.
A famous local musician also received sight-restoring surgery. After his first eye was operated on, he sang; and after his second eye was operated on, he was so excited he asked if he could start dancing and singing.
For those receiving sight-restoring surgeries, the impact is immediately life-changing. One man, after receiving surgery, prayed for the team to have long lives so they could continue giving sight to the people in Yirol.
Dr. Jacob Atem, CEO and Co-founder of SSHCO said it was “surreal” to see an outreach like this come to South Sudan.
“For some of us who work in South Sudan, it has been a long way coming. The team is doing great.”
HCP’s efforts to support eye care in South Sudan date back to 2008, when two young men from Duk County, South Sudan who were living in a refugee camp traveled to Nepal for six-months of ophthalmic technician training at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, at the suggestion of John Dau.
Another outreach event will take place in December; a total of 1,400 patients are expected to receive treatment in South Sudan. Their care is made possible from support by donors like you.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to our donors, HCP, SSHCO, and the Ministry of Health for this collaboration that has brought great impact to our community,” said Dr. Albino Nyibong, Director of Eye Service, MOH, South Sudan. "The impact is so huge...But there is much we have not addressed. Let us collaborate. Let us continue doing this work.”