Dr. Abuh, Ophthalmologist and Hospital Medical Director at ECWA Eye Hospital, is the project coordinator for the Link between ECWA Eye Hospital, Nigeria and Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT). The project aimed to improve children’s eye care services in Nigeria’s Kano region.

“We can’t begin to quantify the benefits, they are much more than we ever imagined – the impact of this link is huge”.

The Link: Kano and Northern Ireland

During the duration of this link, ECWA Doctors and Professors have been closely mentored and trained by their fellow peers at WHSCT, Northern Ireland.

The anaesthetic nurse, Mr. David Lawal, has been equipped with laryngeal masks and trained in their use, significantly reducing trauma. There is now a new theatre (for the first time) and a formal post op recovery area with staff equipped and trained in managing paediatric anaesthetic recoveries.  The WHO check list has been introduced to ensure that the patient has the right operation and that staff in the operating theatre now have clear defined roles. Through the knowledge they received from WHSCT regarding effective planning, the link has demonstrated the importance and methods of ensuring that the patients’ treatment is consistent and correct; prior to the link, there were frequent grave confusion in the theatre. In fact, some came in to have an operation on their left eye, however the right was often operated. This has since been rectified. Other successes have also been noted across a number of areas within ECWA.

Making a difference: saving lives

“Prior to the link”, Dr. Abuh remarks, “different techniques were used which could be extremely traumatic, especially for children. As ECWA have since received knowledge and equipment, they are now able to do this without causing any trauma to the patient or family. In fact, since participating in this link no one has died through complications of such surgery, of course, a tremendous success.”

IHLFS Team, British Council Nigeria