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15.08.2005 Health

Australia donates equipment to Krachi Hospital

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 15, GNA - More than 100 people with eye problems in the Krachi West District would undergo surgery, thanks to a microscope donated by the Australian High Commission to the Krachi District Hospital.

The High Commission's Direct Aid Programme funded the purchase of a the microscope made in Australia to support the work of Sight Savers International and the Ghana Health Service in the Krachi West District in the Volta Region, according to a statement from the High Commission on Monday.

Presenting the equipment to the Volta Regional Director of Ghana Health Service last Thursday, the Direct Aid Programme Coordinator of the Australian High Commission, Dr Tamara Somers said that Australia wanted to help Sight Savers and the Ghana Health Service overcome some of the obstacles to provide treatment to the people of the District, identified as one of the most underprivileged in Ghana.

She noted that the World Health Organisation estimated that three-quarters of the blindness and vision impairment in the world was in developing countries, and that 75 per cent of that blindness and vision impairment in developing countries was preventable.

Dr Somers said she hoped the availability of the microscope in the Krachi area would allow the estimated 5,000 blind and visually impaired people in the District to receive proper diagnosis and timely treatment. Sight Savers selected the Australian-made Scan-optics microscope because of its robustness, reliability and quality, all of which made it ideal for use in a remote area such as Keta Krachi. Scan-optics is one of many of world-class companies in Australia's flourishing bio-medical industry.

Dr Somers said the role played by the Ghana Health Service and the District Ophthalmic Nurses in using and maintaining the equipment would be critical as a microscope was only as good as the people who used it. The communities of the Krachi West District also had an important role to play in preventing eye disease, she said, and advised them to have regular eye checks and to report any changes in vision to the clinic as soon as they could.

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