TORONTO, May 27 /PRNewswire/ --

One of Africa's leading ophthalmologists has been appointed Regional Director for Africa for Operation Eyesight Universal, effective immediately.

Dr. Boateng Wiafe will spearhead the organization's work in the African region. He will work closely with Operation Eyesight's partners in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia, and with government ministries to guide the development of prevention and treatment programs, community development programs and government efforts all aiming to eradicate avoidable blindness.

Operation Eyesight is extremely fortunate to have Dr. Bo Wiafe - a highly respected and skilled ophthalmologist and an extremely capable manager - lead our efforts in Africa, says Pat Ferguson, Operation Eyesight President and CEO. He understands the issues and, as an eye surgeon himself, has firsthand experience on the front lines. He knows what needs to be done to reach the poorest communities and who must be involved if we are ever to win the fight against avoidable blindness.

Dr. Wiafe's appointment recognizes and builds on the resources already available in Africa, Ferguson explains. By concentrating on productivity and quality, he will help build local medical capacity and encourage the public eye care programs essential for ultimate regional sustainability. He will also be instrumental in the development our Kenya Trachoma Project, which aims to eradicate avoidable blindness in 18 regions over the next eight years.

Dr. Wiafe will play a key role in Operation Eyesight's implementation of the full SAFE strategy - surgery, antibiotics, face-washing and environmental improvements - to eliminate trachoma, a disease that often leads to blindness. Operation Eyesight is the only non-governmental organization implementing the full strategy in order to break the endless cycle of treatment and re-infection.

With more than 25 years of experience in ophthalmology, Dr. Wiafe is widely recognized as an authority in the development of sustainable eye care in the African region, notably in Zambia where he worked for 20 years before returning to his home country of Ghana. He has worked closely with Operation Eyesight for several years as the medical director of a partner hospital and, for the past two years, as a Regional Advisor.

In Zambia, Dr. Wiafe helped the government develop and implement a quality eye care program, setting new standards for the number of surgeries performed and piloting a model trachoma control program which reduced the disease's prevalence from 50% to 5%.

Dr. Wiafe is an international member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and has been the Medical Advisor to the USAID-funded Child Survival Project in Chipata, Zambia. He was appointed Chairman of the Primary Health Care Advisory Committee for the Churches Medical Association of Zambia and a member of the Zambia Council for the Handicapped, Eastern Area Committee. He has contributed several articles to the London School of

Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Community Eye Health Journal, co-authored the Healthy Eyes Activity Book for children and contributed a chapter to Glaucoma: Vol. 2 Surgical Management, published in 2009.

Operation Eyesight is an international development organization dedicated to preventing and treating blindness throughout the developing world. We work directly with local medical professionals in Africa and South Asia to help provide sustainable eye care and community development for some of the world's poorest people. Since 1963, Operation Eyesight has improved the lives of more than 35 million people.

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For further information: or interviews please contact: Lindsay O'Connor, Manager, International Media/Public Relations,, +1-647-404-4469

For further information: or interviews please contact: Lindsay O'Connor, Manager, International Media/Public Relations,, +1-647-404-4469