Commemoration of World Sight Day: increased cases of eye diseases in region C
The Regional Central Health Directorate has expressed concern over the increase in eye disease cases in the region.
According to statistics covering the first half of the leadership, more than 5,000 people live with cataracts, more than 2,500 others suffer from glaucoma, while more than 6,000 people also suffer from refractive errors in the region.
Ghana Health Service (GHS) Central Regional Director Dr Akosua Sarpong revealed it during this year’s World Sight Day commemoration in Cape Coast, themed, ‘Love Your Eyes’.
The day is commemorated on the second Thursday in October each year to draw attention to visual impairment and blindness in order to influence the decisions of governments, policymakers and other stakeholders.
Dr Sarpong said prioritizing eye care would help identify potential diseases in time for effective treatment to prevent partial or total loss of vision.
The Chair of the Central Region of the Federation of Ghanaian Disabled People’s Union, Mr. George Frimpong, called on the government to release funds for screening and diagnosis of children to identify and manage eye problems at an early stage.
“More often than not, once children have been diagnosed or screened, they barely receive the support they need to go through other treatment processes,” he said.
Mr Frimpong also called for awareness of Rh compatibility – a situation in which a woman and her unborn baby carry different Rhesus (Rh) protein factors, adding that “education on RH compatibility is essential because it is has been shown to be one of the sources of both genetic and adventitious eye problems ”.
The head of optometry at the University of Cape Coast, Professor Alex Ilechie, said it was time for organizations and public health facilities to help raise awareness of eye disease.
“It’s a crusade that involves all of us and not just the Ministry of Health or the government. We need to refocus our collective efforts to improve the management of eye care programs and related issues, ”he said.