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14 October 2016

Over 190,000 persons are blind in Ghana

visually-impireOver 190,000 persons in the country are blind, according to the 2015 Ghana Blindness and Visual Impairment Study (GBVIS) conducted under the auspices of the Ghana Health Service.

The prevalence rate of blindness among those aged 50 years and above was 4.0% and increases with age to 19.12% in those aged 80 years and above. Males were affected than females.

Four out of five blind Ghanaians are blind from causes which could have been avoided such as cataract. The major causes of blindness are untreated cataract (54.8%), Glaucoma (19.4%), Posterior segment disease including diabetic retinopathy (12.9%) and corneal related causes (11.2%).

The Acting Head of Eye Care Unit, Ghana Health Service, Dr James Addy gave the statistics during an event in Accra to mark the 2016 World Sight Day.

He noted that Ghana has 1,117 eye care professionals for the over 28 million people. 97 Ophtalmologists, 500 eye nurses, 320 Optometrists and 200 Opticians.

“This number is grossly inadequate for the task of offering cataract surgeries, glaucoma management, low vision services, diabetic retinopathy screening, pediatric ophthalmology among others, in Teaching, Regional and district hospitals.”

Dr James Addy however noted that blinding trachoma and onchocerciasis are on the verge of being eliminated in Ghana.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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