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15 October 2016

Inadequate optometrists contribute to high rate of blindness

portable-eye-examination-kit_dezeen_ss1Health professionals are attributing increasing rate of blindness to inadequate number of optometrists in the country.

Out of 190 thousand persons living with blindness, more than 100 thousand were caused by cataract which doctors say can be corrected by surgery.
This is according to Head of the Eye Unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Dr. Seth Lartey.

Ghana has about 590 optometry professionals made up of 200 doctors and and 300 nurses.

Only 90 are ophthalmologists who have the ability to correct cataract by surgery.
Some of cataract patients are unable to have access to these professionals due to the limited numbers.
Even those who have do so late when their condition is at crisis stage.
Dr. Lartey wants government and educationists to take up training of more professionals.
“Those who do the surgeries are very few and the numbers to deal with are quite a lot and new cases come in every now and then”, he said.
He was speaking at a health screening exercise to mark World Sight Day at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
The hospital is partnering Orbis International, a non-governmental organization to create blindness awareness.
Program Manager at Orbis International, Ohemeng Nsiah-Ababio says the partner organization is providing support for training of personnel.

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