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03.09.2003 Regional News

About 50% of children in Volta Region have sight defects

By Times
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Ho (Volta Region) 2 September 2003 - A study in connection with eye-related diseases in some part of the Volta Region has revealed that 50 per cent of the child population has problems leading to impaired vision or total blindness.

Predominant eye-related diseases include refractive error cataract, glaucoma and low vision. The study also revealed that parents of such children, even though may be aware, had been hampered by the lack of resources to send them for treatment.

Joseph Akussah, Executive Director of the Christian Optical Centre, Ho, made the revelation when he presented 200 sunglasses to the Volta Regional branch of the Ghana Association of the Blind (GAB) as part of the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the association.

Akussah who described the situation as alarming, pointed out that they had been totally neglected by the National Eye Help and Rehabilitation Programme which refused to visit such communities to ascertain the extent of their plight.

He cautioned that if the situation is allowed to persist it would adversely affect economic life of such communities, thereby compounding their level of poverty.

As a measure of complementing government efforts, Akussah said his organization had been providing simple and affordable eye care services to difficult-to-reached visually impaired persons at their doorsteps. He bemoaned the situation where personnel trained to treat common eye-related diseases were lacking at health centers.

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