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06.04.2005 General News

WCO spearheads eye campaign in Ghana

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Accra, April 6, GNA - The World Council of Optometry (WCO) will from April this year, spearhead a vision care campaign and provide eyeglasses to Ghanaian children between the ages of six and 15. The programme, which starts in Accra on April 6, is being jointly organised by the University of Cape Coast and the Kwame Nkrumah University of the Science and Technology with support from an Italian organisation, Federotticca.

Prof. Doknan Danjuma Sheni, President of the WCO, said this at a press conference in Accra to outline activities of General Delegates' Meeting of the Council in Accra.

More than 100 optometrists from around world are attending the meeting being hosted by the Ghana Optometrists Association and the Africa Council on Optometry.

Prof. Sheni said the campaign programme, a complement of "Vision 2020: The Right to Sight," outreach developed by the World Health Organisation, was to assist countries in preventing blindness and restoring sight.

The Project includes a pilot research on a Refractive Error Study and visual impairment in children of different ethnic origins and cultural settings.

It is also in fulfilment of the WCO's call for mandatory eye health examinations for children between the ages of six and 12 years in all countries to enhance the right to sight for each child.

The collaborators are seeking to tap into the current infrastructure of hospitals, community clinics and schools in urban and rural areas, including Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Hohoe, Wa and Yendi. Data from the study would be used to plan an effective eye care plan for Ghana.

Prof. Sheni said Ghana was hosting the conference because of its strategic importance in Africa as a peaceful country. "While no country in the world can guarantee 100 per cent security, Ghana is one of the few countries in Africa in which you can travel at any time to all of the regions without fear for your life," Prof. Sheni said.

As part of the Meeting, the WCO would be presenting distinguished service awards to Dr Francis Kojovi Morny, an optometrist, for his more than 50 years of service to optometry in Ghana and the world, and the International Optometrist Award of the Year to Dr Paul Berman, for his foresight in promoting optometry in Special Olympics. The WCO, admitted into official relationship with the World Health Organisation in January 2004, is the international mouthpiece for optometry and consists of 84 members from 42 countries.

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