A total of 6,480 residents from Techiman and Tuobodom in the Brong Ahafo Region have undergone eye screening exercise by a combined medical team from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and Techiman Holy Family Hospital (HFH) aimed at diagnosing Cataract and other eye problem for treatment.

A total of 475 out of the 6,480 screened residents were diagnosed to have the Cataract eye problem. There were minor congenital and glaucoma cases such as trouble seeing at night, short sighted and blurry vision. Currently, operations to improve their vision were ongoing at the Holy Family Hospital in Techiman of some of the clients.

Dr. Osei Bonsu Agyemang, Specialist Ophthalmologist, at the Holy Family Hospital who made this known in an exclusive interview said 235 of the cases had undergone successful operation which was ongoing to improve their vision.

He noted that apart from the cataract, glaucoma was a special threat and was a silent killer of vision. He added that Ghana was second in terms of glaucoma incidents in the whole world and that it was a major challenge. “They were unaware that they were losing their vision. Because most of them screened were from farming communities in which vision demand was low; they only realized their vision was getting lower and lower”, he observed.

He said the Cataract was symptomless and therefore, the only time people realized was when they were becoming visionless. He also said the Cataract was an ageing defect but not associated with blindness because it is preventable.

Dr. Agyemang advised that if a family member is diagnosed of Cataract, the other family members should take it upon themselves to attend an eye clinic for a checkup.

Madam Katherine Manu, a Principal Nursing Officer who was leading one of the screening teams in an interview said while some of the people were treated and given medication including medicated glasses, others whose situation needed operation were those referred to the Holy Family Hospital.

The programme was sponsored by Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) in collaboration with Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Techiman Holy Family Hospital and supported by the Member of Parliament (MP) Techiman South, Mr. Henry Yiadom Boakye. The MP said he would continue to partner and collaborate with KATH, HFH and other institutions working to improve the health and living conditions of the people in his constituency.

IMORO T AYIBANI
TECHIMAN