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The cost of pediatric cataract surgery in Africa

Children at the Child Eye Health facility in Zambia

Children at the Child Eye Health Tertiary Facility in Kitwe, Zambia

Pediatric ophthalmologist Phoebe Lenhart traveled to Kitwe, Zambia, in 2012 to meet doctors Asiwome Seneadza and Chilesh Mboni and to learn more about the Child Eye Health Tertiary Facility there. Lenhart was the principal investigator for an Emory Global Health Initiative Multidisciplinary Scholars Team that involved four Emory students: Dan Lin (Rollins School of Public Health); pre-med/sociology major Young-Min Kim and neuroscience/journalism student Trusha Daya (Emory College); and fourth-year medical student Centrael "Sonny" Evans, who completed the project as part of his Discovery Phase (Emory School of Medicine).

Each student was awarded $3,000 to spend six weeks in either Malawi or Zambia conducting, "A Cost Analysis of Pediatric Cataract Surgery at Three Child Eye Health Tertiary Facilities in Africa." The results of this important study will aid governments, hospitals, and charitable organizations in allocating resources for pediatric cataract surgery.

"The project was a good opportunity for team members from a variety of backgrounds to learn more about the current status of eye care in Zambia and Malawi," says Lenhart. "We expect that the information about the actual cost of pediatric cataract surgery provided as a result of the project will be useful to funding organizations."

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