40K Surgeries Needed Annually To Stop Blindness – GHS

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The Head of the Eye Care Unit of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr James Addy, has said about 40.000 cataract surgeries are required to be conducted yearly among Ghanaians to prevent the disturbing cases of blindness.

“As a country, we decided that we have to do some number of surgeries if we want to prevent everyone from going blind and that means doing about 40,000 cataract surgeries every year,” Dr Addy said.

“Those are the people who are blind that we need to clear but then every day, every year some of us will be getting blind so if we are able to do 40,000 then it will be left with those who are now getting the cataract, those we call the incidence. The prevalence is 0.7%,” he added.

According to Dr Addy, currently, Ghana is able to do about 15,000 to 16,000 cataract surgeries far below the set target due to many challenges.

Good news

That notwithstanding, the GHS, he stated has entered into an agreement with the Himalayan Cataract Project of the USA to fund the National Cataract Outreach Program (NACOP) aimed at helping reduce the deficit by performing 30,000 cataract surgeries on patients annually by 2020.

The project would be formally launched on September 17 at the Koforidua Regional Hospital where free cataract surgeries will be performed for persons in the region.

Addressing the media in Koforidua , Dr. Addy explained that the NACOP project was aimed at eliminating blindness caused by cataract and to give opportunity to blind persons to be treated.

He, therefore, called on Chiefs, Queen mothers, the clergy, Assembly Members among others to gather persons with cataract and transport them to the Regional Hospital on Monday for the free surgery.

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