Ghana is to host the World Council of Optometry (WCO) General Delegates meeting in Accra from 6 to10 April, 2005. It is the first time the meeting will be held in Africa.
The Ghana Optometric Association (GOA) is hosting the event in collaboration with the Africa Council of Optometry with sponsorship from Essilor International. The meeting is expected to be opened by the President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor. It will be attended by about 200 delegates from the council.
“This event will be very historic and indeed an honour to our dear country”, Dr Julius Darko, President of GOA, said in and interview. He said before the opening of the conference, the Executive Officers of the council would pay a courtesy call on the President of Ghana as well as on the President of the Ga Traditional Council.
Dr Darko said there would be a free eye screening for the disabled to be sponsored by the Special Olympics Lions Club International. The association would also provide free T- Shirts and spectacles to those found with defects in the eye, he said.
Dr Darko said presentations would be made on the topic “Vision 2020: The Right to Sight-Partnering For Sustainability”, “Refractive and Low Vision: Challenges and Opportunities” as well as a conference on “the methodology of prescription adaptation of progressive lenses”.
The GOA President said other topics would include “lmpact Africa: Human Resources and Infrastructure, Current Status and Challenges” and “the status of optometric involvement in national health plans for Vision 2020”.
Mr Darko said as Ghana prepares itself as the gateway to West Africa., the conference would organize tours for the guests to enable them to have a feel of the country's tourism facilities.
Optometry deals with all kinds of visual problems and use spectacles contracts lenses and vision therapies to correct vision errors. VISION 2020: The Right to Sight” is a worldwide initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020.It is being promoted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and some NGOs.
An estimated three to four million blind and10 to 12 million visually impaired people are known to exist in English speaking Africa with more than 60 per cent of them suffering from cataracts.