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14.05.2004 Regional News

Eye clinic opens at Nsawam

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Nsawam, May 14, GNA - Mr. Simon Bush, Regional Director West Africa Sight Savers International has called on stakeholders to ensure that the principles and objectives outlined in the Vision 2020 to remove the scourge of avoidable blindness are implemented.

Mr. Bush made the call when a 200-million cedi eye clinic at Nsawam Governmental Hospital was inaugurated on Friday, which was funded by the organisation. The Vision 2020 -The Right to Sight, which was signed in October 2002 brings together the World Health Organisation, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, governments, non-governmental organisations and most importantly health workers.

Mr. Bush observed that if the objectives were not met the number of blind people in the world would rise from 45 million to 75 million by 2020, saying, "If we are successful, though, this figure will be reduced to 25 million, saving 100 million people from going blind." The Regional Director also noted that if the challenges were not met the number of blind people in Ghana would rise to over 700,000, adding that there is urgency to ensure that this does not happen. He said his organisation was ready to continue to work with all project partners in Ghana to ensure that the country meets the objectives laid out in Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight.

"Together we will ensure that no one is needlessly blind and that everyone who is needlessly blind or severely visually impaired enjoys the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities like the sighted persons." Nana Akua Okyerewa I, Presiding Member of Akuapem South District Assembly, who cut the tape for the opening of the clinic commended the West Africa Sight Savers International for bringing the eye facility to the doorsteps of the people of the district.

Nana Okyerewa, who is also the Queenmother of Nsakye said blindness has devastating human and economic consequences, saying statistics available are worrying and should be a cause for concern. She therefore, called on other district assemblies to lend support to the Sight Savers International so as to establish more eye clinics in the country.