Ophthalmologists urged to open-up their services

Dr Kwaku Agyeman Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, has asked ophthalmology practitioners to upscale their services to help improve accessibility to eye care services in the country.

He said they should also accept postings to rural communities where majority of the people lived while at the same time, educating the people on the dangers of applying herbal concoctions and other harmful materials on their eyes.

Dr Agyeman Mensah said this in an address read for him at the opening of the 21st annual general conference of the Ophthalmological Society of Ghana (OSG) in Kumasi on Saturday.

The three-day conference is under the theme, “Improving eye health in Ghana; our collective responsibility”.

Dr Agyeman Mensah said the low number of ophthalmologists in Ghana means majority of the people have no access to eye care services in the country.

He commended Sightsavers and other NGOs in eye health for their continued work in ensuring that more people had access to eye care services in the country.

He said the government is committed to improving the health status of all Ghanaians and urged ophthalmology practitioners and NGOs to play their respective roles efficiently to improve the health of the people.

Dr Edith Dogbe, President of OSG, called for the need for industry and private investment in eye care services in the country.

She said she was unhappy with the information that there are plans to commence the training of cataract surgeons in the country and said the OSG is not in favour of the training of cataract surgeons without first having a medical degree.

She said eye surgery is not only about skills but discipline and attitude are equally important and appealed to the government to help initiate programmes to support ophthalmologists in the districts.

Mrs Joyce Ashun, Country Director of Sightsavers Ghana Office, said some of the challenges facing NGOs in the health sector are how to deliver results, raise funds for activities and sustain programmes.

She appealed to the health practitioners to develop good attitudes and demonstrate that they could achieve results in order to attract donors to support their activities.

Dr Michael Adu-Darko, a private eye care practitioner, said he was unhappy with the dwindling number of students entering the Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians to undertake ophthalmology practice and attributed it to some misconceptions about the practice.

He called on members to encourage young doctors to take up the practice to enable more Ghanaians have access to eye care services in the country.

Source: GNA

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