Oyoko (Ash), June 17, GNA- The first ever Optical Technician Training Institute (OTTI) to be established in Ghana and the whole of West African sub-region was on Wednesday officially handed over to the Ministry of Health (MOH).
It is sited at Oyoko near Effiduase in the Sekyere East District and jointly built and equipped by the Swiss Red Cross, African Action/Deutschland, a German NGO and the Oyoko Westphalian Village, at a cost of 375,000 dollars.
The occasion coincided with the graduation of the first batch of 13 optical technicians trained at the institute. Mr Moses Dani-Baah, Deputy Minister of Health, welcomed the hand over of the institute and noted that the optical training programme would complete the complement of eye care personnel in the Ghanaian health institutions.
He said since the few optical technicians operating in the country have not had any formal training, the institute therefore offers an opportunity to them to improve their skills and deepen their understanding of optical practice.
Mr Dani-Baah pointed out that with the anticipated growth in the number of ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nurses and optometrists, there would be corresponding increase in the number of prescriptions and a greater need for technicians.
Even at the teething stage, the institute has attracted trainees from other countries in the sub-region, an indication that it is a viable project that could be developed into a sub-regional training institute, he added.
The Deputy Minister said his ministry would ensure that the necessary regulations, standards and guidelines for optical technicians were established.
Mr George Zubler, the Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, said the Red Cross was not only committed to humanitarian aid in war zones and disaster areas but also to development designed to create dignified living conditions.
He said it was for this reason that the organisation has become active in the field of eye care and blindness prevention particularly among the disadvantaged and vulnerable population in poor countries.
Mr Isaiah Opoku-Boateng, the Sekyere East District Chief Executive, told the people to take advantage of the institute to ensure that they see their wards through basic and second cycle education.