Yendi Hospital gets GHc 27,000 eye clinic
A modern well equipped eye clinic funded by Panalpina, a Swiss world leading provider of forwarding and logistics services, was on Tuesday inaugurated for the Yendi Municipal Hospital at the cost of GHc27,000.
The eye clinic, which comprise of two consulting rooms, a screening room and a store was inaugurated by Mrs Monica Ribar, Chief Executive Officer of Panalpina.
Dr Oscar Debrah, Head of the National Eye Care Programme said the eye was one of the most important organs of the human body and therefore urged the elderly especially, to carry out routine check-ups on their eyes.
He said out of Ghana's population of over 20 million, about 230,000 were blind, adding that, cataract and glaucoma were the major causes of blindness.
He said trachoma had a high prevalence in the Northern and Upper West Regions and was therefore a major public concern, adding that, the world health programme had intensified its efforts to combat the disease.
Dr Debrah said it was envisaged that trachoma would be completely eliminated by the year 2010 and urged health personnel to help achieve this goal by visiting the rural areas to identify people suffering from the disease so that they can be operated upon.
Mr Andrews Frimpong, Yendi Municipal Director of Health Service said a major cause of preventable blindness in the Ghanaian environment was due to trachoma, which was an infection which could be prevented or managed through simple and cost effective means.
He said out of ignorance however people still got blinded by the disease but expressed the hope that with an elaborate outreach programme being undertaken at the regional and district levels, cases of trachoma would be identified and treatment provided.
The Municipal Director of Health said with the construction of the eye clinic and the provision of the necessary equipment, the programme would be further strengthened to chalk more successes.
He appealed to the personnel who would be using the eye clinic to regularly carry out preventive maintenance activities on all the equipment to ensure their long life span.
Mr Seth Addae Kyereme, Country Representative of the Swiss Red Cross Society said the society had always viewed eye care services with a pro poor orientation as a humanitarian gesture that sought to eliminate vulnerabilities.
He said over the past 20 years the society had assisted Ghana to reduce her avoidable blindness prevalence of approximately 155,000 and had also contributed towards restoring the sight of over 13,000 people.
Mr Kyereme said the society over the years had further assisted more than 10,000 poor blind patients to regain their sight.
He called on other corporate bodies to emulate the good works of Panalpina and assist in areas that would help alleviate the plight of the poor and vulnerable in society.
Mrs Ribar said it was estimated that 230,000 Ghanaians lived with various forms of blindness with an estimated 115,000 suffering from cataract.
She said although Ghana's blindness prevalence was pegged at one percent, it was higher in the rural and urban slums.
She said Ghana's ophthalmic staff strength stood at about 80 with 150 ophthalmologists and ophthalmic nurses respectively, adding that, this fell far below the requirement of a country whose population stands at 20 million people.
She noted that infrastructure; equipment, instruments, consumables, drugs and transportation of eye care deliveries had either been inadequate or were mainly supplied by donor or the private sector.