What We Do - Right To Sight & Health

What we do

The goal of the NCEH is to reduce the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in North Ghana, especially among low income families. 

The NCEH is established according to a set of non-negotiable core values that guide the business model and serve as its ethical and financial foundation. These values translate into services that include supply and demand side interventions, which make the NCEH unique in Ghana and ensure that the center is financially sustainable in the long-term.

NEW HOSPITAL

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The NCEH will be the only privately owned and operated, non-profit eye care hospital in North Ghana.

This NCEH approach is based upon the Aravind Eye Care System (India) model that provides eye care to all members in the community regardless of their ability to pay. The profit generated from the paying patients is used to cross-subsidize and fund free care for the poor, including babies and children. The model has gained significant adoption, now representing more than 70% of all surgeries in India, and is rapidly spreading throughout the Middle East, Africa, and South America.

An optical shop will be co-located with the clinic which will provide prescriptions and eye glasses for patients making it accessible and affordable.

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ARCHITECHTURAL DRAWING:
KAITLYN KORBER  TENHARMSEL

We are working with some of the best young architects to design eco-friendly, cost-effective building designs for our facilities. Some examples of prototypes are presented here.

New Model of Services and Financing

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Self-sustaining financing model

The most important factor to the success of the NCEH is its self-sustaining financing model. The NCEH uses differential pricing – a means-tested sliding price scale that allows patients to pay for services according to their financial ability. This model ensures that patients maintain their autonomy and dignity – which are vital to increasing utilization.

Equitable service model

The quality and type of essential eye care services are the same for all patients regardless of what they pay. Essential care includes care for nonsurgical eye diseases, cataract surgery, trauma surgery, glaucoma care including surgery, and laser, The only difference in pricing is for “luxury” services such as phacoemulsification cataract surgery, special implants, plastic surgery, accommodations and food.

Single visit cycle of care

To keep costs low and improve patient accessibility, all key services are conducted during the initial visit, from patient registration to consultation, to investigations, to surgery. Cataract surgery is cheaper in an outpatient setting than with an overnight stay.

Affordable Intraocular Lens (IOL) and other surgical supplies

The provision of Intraocular Lens (IOL) and other surgical supplies at a low-price point for the Ghanaian population is key to the financial sustainability of the center. The NCEH has identified a supplier that will provide these at affordable prices.

Prescribing and fitting glasses on site

An optical shop will be co-located with the clinic which will provide prescriptions and eye glasses for patients making it accessible and affordable.

Workforce Development

Workforce

Dr. Judith Simon is a dedicated U.S. trained and licensed ophthalmologist, who has been working with a small but motivated team in Tamale, Northern Ghana since 2013. She has 30 years of surgical and clinical experience, and 15 years of experience in outreach surgery to developing countries. She currently works at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, where she serves as chief eye surgeon. Dr. Simon also serves as a part-time lecturer at the University of Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana.

Direct Service Training

The NCEH is dedicated to training local medical providers to create a sustainable network of doctors, nurses, and optometrists who will provide care for their own population for the future.

Training targets include:

  • 4 ophthalmologist residents receive surgical training to complete   their skills
  • 60 ophthalmic nurses
  • 4 optometrists
  • 9 opticians

Community Partnership

Community

Outreach to the “Non-Customer”

The pool of potential patients who could benefit from eye care services is very large in North Ghana, but they will be unaware of the new services at the NCEH. These potential patients are referred to as “non-customers”. To increase demand for services, the NCEH team will make frequent trips to the rural areas to identify “non-customers” and inform them about the clinic, its services, and especially the free or low cost of care.

Social Marketing

The main aim of the social marketing campaign is to increase demand for services at the NCEH. By raising awareness about the new services and payment structure, more people will seek care at the NCEH. This will be achieved through a combination of direct outreach in person by NCEH staff on a regular basis, dissemination of marketing materials in targeted communities, and public service announcements (PSA) on the radio which is still used heavily among the local population in Northern Ghana. The PSAs and direct community outreach will include information to improve overall health literacy among the population. It will cover vision, nutrition, and prevention of blindness as well as the new services and costs of treatment at the NCEH.

Screening

Bi-weekly screening for cataract, glaucoma, refractive error and for other eye diseases will be conducted in Tamale and in the rural communities of North Ghana.

Registering people with the National Health Insurance Program

It is estimated that 20% of the population in Northern Ghana is not yet registered with the NHIS. Our social marketing campaign will inform patients about their eligibility for health insurance and we will register patients in advance of their visit to the NCEH since there is a one month waiting period.