ON-SITE EYE CLINICS
Dr. Morris Hartstein examines patients in the Gondar and Addis Ababa Jewish compounds, as well as outer (non-Jewish) villages, providing primary eyecare to people who have little or no access to doctors. He dispenses medications and eye drops, and for patients who require surgical treatment, he works to arrange procedures with local hospitals. He has personally examined over 7,000 patients since 2014.
Untreated cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in Ethiopia. Cataract surgery is unaffordable and inaccessible to most people in the villages. To relieve the tremendous backlog of cataract cases, we have partnered with HCP and the Dear Foundation to set up cataract campaigns where we screen, identify and operate on a large volume of cataract patients in remote villages over the course of a week. We work with local doctors and support staff, as well as HCPs' local staff on the ground.
PERFORMING EYE SURGERY
Dr. Morris Hartstein operates on patients who require more complex oculoplastic surgeries than can be taken care of by local physicians. He has operated on over 300 patients at University of Gondar Hospital and Menilik Hospital at Addis Ababa University.
FEEDING PROGRAM FOR MALNOURISHED CHILDREN AND NURSING MOTHERS
We provide one stable meal a day to 500 children under the age of five, and to 200 nursing and pregnant mothers, five days a week, in the Gondar Jewish compound. An official study conducted by the public health department of the University of Gondar determined that nearly 50% of children ages five and under in the Jewish community suffer from severe malnutrition according to the criteria established by the WHO. With additional funds we would be able to expand this program to children over the age of five. All children in the program are monitored by an on-site nurse and a pediatrician who track their height and weight. Local people are employed to help cook and prepare the meals.
PHYSICIAN TRAINING IN ISRAEL
In order to work towards sustainability in the field of ophthalmology, Operation Ethiopia and our partners bring Ethiopian ophthalmologists who are towards the end of their residencies for advanced training at Shamir Medical Center in Israel. The residents are exposed to a variety of ophthalmic subspecialties during their month-long training period in Israel. In addition we have provided longer training periods in Israel of 3-12 months for the ophthalmology subspecialties of pediatric ophthalmology, oculoplastics, and cornea. Of the five oculoplastic trained fellows in Ethiopia, Dr. Hartstein has personally trained three of them.
FIRST AID AND CPR TRAINING
Over 75 youth in Gondar were trained in CPR and First Aid by our Israeli volunteers Jonah and Ilan, who are EMTs with Magen David Adom in Israel. Since access to hospitals in cases of emergency is difficult in Gondar, giving locals the resources to deal with emergencies like choking, sprained bones, and even snake bites, is very helpful. One of our partners, Rescuers Without Borders donated first aid kits for all the graduates of the course. Some of the top students in the course were trained remotely in how to teach the locals basic hygiene practices to help curb the spread of Covid, and they go door-to-door teaching and distributing PPE.