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World Vision launches programme for Ga West

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Amasaman, May 15, GNA - World Vision-Ghana (WVG), an international Christian relief and development organisation, on Monday launched its Vision Aid activities programme for the Ga West District, which kicked off with free eye screening for the community.

The programme, also for Dangbe West, is expected to diagnose eye problems such as cataract, trachoma and conjunctivitis through the assistance of 10 volunteers from the Vision Aid Overseas, a United Kingdom-based charity.

Mr Clement Odua-Mensah, Associate Director of Operations of WVG, said Vision Aid had for the past 15 years provided eye screening service and appropriate treatment to about 15,000 people in some districts in the Ashanti and Eastern regions.

He said Vision Aid would also collaborate with Mercy Ship, another charity organisation, to take up referral cases and provide free eye surgery to patients and improve the lot of the rural poor, especially in the two districts.

According to him, WVG was sponsoring the education of 1,000 children and enrolled 35 youths in skills training programmes. Mr Odua-Mensah said the organisation supplied de-wormers through its "Gift In Kind" programme to de-worm school children and distributed educational materials to some selected comunities.

"The mother of our activities over the year is the Buruli Ulcer Prevention and treatment project.... Patients are screened in the communities and (sent) to Amasaman Health Centre for surgery and treatment," he added.

Mr Odua-Mensah urged churches, corporate organisations and civil society organisations to think globally and adapt to changes and priorities in order to improve effectiveness in servicing the public. Mrs Nina Carlisle, leader of the team of volunteers, said Vision Aid, made up of optometrist and dispensing opticians, was committed to assist developing countries that had eyesight problems but could be remedied by the wearing of spectacles.

"All our team members are volunteers, who give their time and a substantial donation to help fund the projects," she said. Mr Eric Quartey-Papafio, District Chief Executive for Ga West, commended the volunteers for accepting the challenge to work in the District, where majority could not afford medical treatment. "It is surprising that while our people are moving away to your country to seek greener pastures, you have rather come here to assist this community."

He said Buruli Ulcer remained a major challenge to the district due to the unhygienic source of drinking water and expressed the hope that the Assembly, with the support of Ghana Water Company, would provide potable water for the community.