Sightsavers helped to renovate the existing operating theatre and screening rooms at Phebe Hospital, and reconfigured the buildings to house the new clinic. Sightsavers is also training staff members and has provided surgical supplies and medical equipment so patients can be treated.
Equipment installed at the clinic includes a slit lamp, operating microscope, an auto-refractor, ophthalmoscopes and cataract sets. A motorbike was also purchased to enable the ophthalmic nurse to visit surrounding areas and provide outreach services.
The clinic was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting event on 22 November 2018, attended by Sightsavers country director Adoley Sonii, Chaplain Rev G Victor Padmore and Liberian health officials.
Before the clinic launched, Liberia’s north-western counties lacked even basic eye health services, despite being the most densely populated areas of the country outside the capital. This meant patients had to travel more than four hours to the capital, Monrovia, to have their eyes checked or have cataract operations.
The new clinic will enable patients to be diagnosed and treated for eye conditions that might have otherwise left them blind. The work is part of Sightsavers’ five-year programme to strengthen eye health services in the region, providing eye health care for a population of more than a million people.
The programme is part-funded by Irish Aid, as well as a small group of generous major donors and foundations. The gallery below shows some of the renovation work carried out at the clinic.