OPTRONICS Provides Donation of MICROCAST® HD STUDIO™ High Definition Surgical Microscope Camera Systems to the ASCRS Foundation/Himalayan Cataract Project Partnership to Advance Surgical Training Centers of Excellence in Ethiopia.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GOLETA, CA – OPTRONICS, a leading U.S. manufacturer and supplier of medical, scientific and industrial microscope imaging systems, has provided a donation of their medical grade MICROCAST® HD STUDIO™ cameras to the ASCRS Foundation/Himalayan Cataract Project partnership to advance Cataract Surgical Training Centers of Excellence in Ethiopia.
On the African continent, Ethiopias population of 85 million is second only to Nigeria. Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of cataract blindness in the world with more than 600,000 blind and an additional 1.2 million suffering from low vision. The number of ophthalmologists per capita in Sub-Saharan Africa is among the lowest in the world. Of the roughly 100 ophthalmologists in Ethiopia, nearly half live in the capital of Addis Ababa, which has less than 5% of the population. The result is a critical shortage of eye care and cataract surgery throughout the rest of Ethiopia, where few ophthalmologists are able to perform the required surgical procedures necessary to correct cataract blindness.
The Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP), in collaboration with the ASCRS Foundation, is seeking to address cataract blindness in Ethiopia. With HCPs extensive experience and country-wide partnerships, the goal is to develop and support Cataract Surgical Training Centers of Excellence in underserved areas of Ethiopia. Teams of visiting HCP and ASCRS surgeons have built strong relationships with key Ethiopian ophthalmologists, training and equipping them with the goal of increasing the number of surgeons capable of performing both manual small-incision ECCE (M-SICS) and phacoemulsification.
The MICROCAST® HD Studio cameras donated by OPTRONICS in support of the HCP/ASCRS Foundation partnership will be used to facilitate intensive surgical training of Ethiopian Ophthalmologists under the supervision of visiting HCP and ASCRS surgeons. The cameras provide high-definition surgical video direct from the operating microscopes to high-definition displays within the training centers. This technology enables multiple surgeons to observe surgical procedures at one time. Surgical footage can be recorded on USB thumb drives directly from the cameras to allow for repeat and additional viewing, thus enhancing the overall educational experience.
According to Dr. David F. Chang, MD one of the most important elements of a surgical training program is the capability for surgeon trainees to record their cases for later review. Compiling a library of high definition teaching videos, especially of intraoperative complications, provides an invaluable teaching resource. I use the same Optronics camera system in my own OR and for my own teaching videos, and I am delighted that the surgical training programs in Gondor and Mekelle will now have this critical teaching resource as well.
Drs. David F. Chang, clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and Geoffrey Tabin, professor at the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Institute are traveling later this summer to Ethiopia, visiting Gondor, Mekelle, and Addis Ababa where they will teach cataract and corneal surgery at several HCP affiliated training centers in full cinematic high definition.
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