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A New Look at Eye Care in Ghana

January 2018

Hayden Doughty and Darius Baradaran

Nonprofits in Ghana provide eye health programs that send doctors to towns throughout the countryside to provide free care. Patients are sometimes referred for surgery or further care, for which the nonprofits offer free transportation. There’s only one problem: many patients never show up.

That was just one of the issues examined by physiology and developmental biology student Hayden Doughty and neuroscience student Darius Baradaran on a study abroad supported by the nonprofit Unite for Sight. “The most interesting thing we found,” Doughty says, “is that these people who would come to the clinics and get free eyeglasses or get referred to surgery had no idea how much those services cost. If they want more people to take advantage, we suggested they tell people how much they cost so they appreciate it.”

Doughty and Baradaran presented on their findings at conferences throughout the United States. “I’m applying to medical schools now, and every time I interview, this project comes up,” Doughty says. “I’ve been told this really sets my application apart. And it was an absolutely awesome experience.”

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