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04.11.2004 General News

Glaucoma awareness week launched

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Accra, Nov 4, GNA- This year's Glaucoma awareness week, was launched on Wednesday with a call on the public to go for periodic eye screening for early detection and treatment of the disease which accounts for 20 per cent of the cases of blindness in the country.

Dr. Kwaku Ghartey, a Specialist Ophthalmologist in Retinal Surgery, said over 400,000 people could be living with the disease in Ghana without knowing of their status, since patients normally do not show signs or symptoms.

He said a policy document would soon be launched to facilitate free eye screening services for Ghanaians in all the health facilities, to help check the disease which distract the optic nerve leading to blindness.

The week, which is on the theme: "Help Us Prevent Blindness," was the 14th in the series, since the Glaucoma Association of Ghana (GAG) instituted it.

As part of the activities marking the week, a free eye screening exercise would be held at the premises of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, in Tema on Saturday, November 9.

Mr. Harrison Abutiate, the National President of GAG, called for public support to ensure the eradication of glaucoma. He said two health experts at the recent International Meeting of Associations of International Glaucoma Societies, made a joint offer to sponsor the training of a Ghanaian Ophthalmologist in the US as a Glaucoma Specialist.

Professor Agyeman-Badu Akosa, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service tasked the GAG, to carry out research on the number of glaucoma patients to assist the Service to raise the needed budget to support the cost of treatment.

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