75% of people with eye diseases risk going blind – Optometrist

The Ghana Optometric Association (GOA) says about 75 per cent of persons with eye diseases risk going blind if treatment is not started early.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Dr Remi Ninkpe, the President of GOA, said those diseases centered around three major area; Cataract, Glaucoma, and Refractive errors.

He said this at the launch of “My Eye! My Vision!” collaborative campaign of the Association and the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to draw attention to vision health.

The initiative seeks to challenge the public and policymakers to focus on vision as a health issue, which forms a critical component of human wellbeing but often neglected.

DSP Ninkpe said cataracts contributed to about 54.8 per cent of all blindness in Ghana though it could easily be corrected within 30 minutes of surgery without hospitalisation.

Glaucoma also accounted for 20 per cent of all blindness, he said, as it was an irreversible eye disease that could lead to blindness if not detected early.

It is an eye disease that does not cause pain and gradually blinds a person if not treated early.

It could also be genetically transferred, therefore, the need for people to get an eye test at least once a year.

Dr Ninkpe said Refractive errors accounted for 44.4 per cent of blindness across all ages and could lead to low vision if not corrected and that 89.9 per cent of Ghanaians with eye problems were running into low vision.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager of GNA, said World Health Organisation data shows that almost one billion people worldwide have preventable vision impairment but most of these go unaddressed.

“Vision impairment could hamper several activities of a person’s life. From daily chores to community interaction and work opportunities…,” he said.

He said the collaboration would serve as a major platform to educate the public on vision health and provide an avenue for the Association to reach out to the world.

“The GNA will monitor and track reactions from the public to serve as feedback to GOA to ensure that our broad objectives are achieved,” Mr Ameyibor said.

The launch was chaired by Reverend Emmanuel Kwesi Ofori, the Minister in Charge of Central Assemblies of God Church, Tema Community Four, and also a Government Appointee of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly.

Source: GNA

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