St. Thomas Eye Hospital, one of the leading eye clinics in Ghana has marked World Diabetes Day with a free medical screening exercise to educate people on the illness and its preventive methods as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
The screening, held at both branches (Mataheko and Osu) in the Greater Accra Region, created the awareness about diabetes and provided free medication to those that were diagnosed and advised them on how to prevent further implications.
World Diabetes Day is a day set aside globally to create awareness about Diabetes and its complications, which include the eye.
According to the Ghana Health Service, there are over 270,000 diabetics living in Ghana with 27,000 suffering from sight-threatening complications.
In an interview with Mrs. Charity Gyasi, Director for Finance and Administration said, “St. Thomas Eye hospital is well known for its social responsibilities for the society and screen hundreds of people for free each year.”
She added that most people are not aware that diabetes can affect the eyes, and today being World Diabetes Day, the hospital is proud to have organized events to educate the public on the effects of diabetes on the eyes, which is medically called diabetes retinopathy.
According to Dr. Sandra Atta Milb, Optometrist and medical administrator, St. Thomas Eye Hospital, diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness.
She said blinding complications from Diabetes include early cataract formation and damage to the retina.
"It is worth noting that, while cataract complications are easy to manage, the same cannot be said about the retinal damage caused by uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus".
Adding that "Retina complications include leakage of fluid and bleed into the macular region of the retina where fine vision is processed. Retina gets starved of oxygen and nutrients due to poor blood flow in the damaged vessels supplying the retina".
"Eventually the eye tries to form new vessels and these are fragile causing them to bleed into the retina and into the vitreous gel that fills the eye. If untreated, it eventually progresses into retinal detachment", she said.
She noted that all these can be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment.
She, therefore, advised the general public to visit their hospitals at least once a year to get their eyes tested.
About St Thomas Eye Hospital
St Thomas Eye Hospital is a specialist eye clinic providing advanced surgical services in retinal detachment, laser surgeries, cataracts, and glaucoma among others. It also has a community outreach program that provides free medical screening and surgeries to people living in extreme poverty.
The Hospital is a privately owned with state-of-the-art facilities. It used to be called the North-Western Eye Centre but later changed to its current name in 2013.
The hospital provides a wide range of medical, surgical and laser services as well as specialized investigations in ophthalmology.
St. Thomas Eye Hospital’s Retinopathy Clinics are on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
However, The Hospital is opened to the public from Monday to Friday (7:30 am to 4 pm) and on Saturday from 9am to 2pm.