In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s always good to hear positive stories to lift our spirits.
In this regard, we want to shed light on some changemakers in ophthalmology, who are making a difference in eye care all over the world.
We have selected two eye doctors and one optometrist who are making an impact in their communities and inspiring others to do the same.
Dr. Jalikatu Mustapha, Sierra Leone Dr. Jalikatu Mustapha is one of only four ophthalmologists working
in the whole of Sierra Leone, returning to the country as an adult after fleeing the civil war as a child.
She was inspired to work in the field upon hearing another doctor’s passion for the subject
and observing the life-changing effects that quick and simple surgeries could have. ลาวสามัคคี
“Many of these people had been blind for years and after just 10 minutes of surgery, their whole lives were transformed,” said
Dr. Mustapha. She vividly recalled one of her patients’ reaction post-surgery.
“As her eye pad was being removed the day after her cataract surgery, 74-year-old Amina, who was bilaterally blind for three years, happily shouted: ‘Doctor, I can see you clearly,’” shared
Dr. Mustapha. “That look of pure joy and hope in her eyes is the reason why I love my job,” she added.
“To be able to help people like Amina get back their sight, their dignity and livelihood, is an absolute blessing to me.
Overseeing Sierra Leone’s Eye Care program means not only helping individuals like Amina but also developing policies that will protect present and future generations from avoidable blindness in our country.”
Dr. Mustapha trained as an ophthalmologist abroad, then took a well-paid job in Kenya but left that role
in order to take a much lower paying job in Sierra Leone when she saw the desperate need for eye care in her country.
Since her arrival, Dr. Mustapha has been helping to make up for
the country’s low number of eye doctors by working twice as hard as most people.
In return, she has recently been appointed the head of Sierra Leone’s Eye Care program.
Currently, she is completing a nationwide assessment of the eye health services available across Sierra Leone as well as the very first cataract audit research.
In addition, Dr. Mustapha has been working to increase the rates of cataract surgeries and re-implementing a nationwide cataract surgical outreach campaign for hard-toreach populations.
Working hard to raise awareness of the burden of glaucoma in Sierra Leone,
Dr. Mustapha is also involved in a yearly event in the country, where for one week everyone is entitled to free glaucoma screening.
For more information: ลาวสามัคคี