Health News of 2014-06-04

Shortage of eye treatment drugs in Ghana

There is an acute shortage of diagnostic drugs for eye treatment in the country, Dr. Kofi Amo-Kodieh, an Ophthalmologist said on Tuesday.

Diagnostic drugs are used during eye examinations. Some include phenylephrine, floareocense dye, mydracyl, cydopentolate and Bengal Blue.

Speaking at a mental health training programme in Berekum, Dr. Amo-Kodieh, who is the Deputy Director, Clinical Care, at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Hospital in Sunyani said the situation is sad and affecting eye service delivery nationwide.

The training, which was organized by Mission of Hope Society (MIHOSO), an NGO in collaboration with Brong-Ahafo Regional Network of Non-Governmental Organisations (BANGO) was attended by about 100 general health workers, faith-based organizations and traditional healers in the region.

It was aimed at building and strengthening capacity of the participants, drawn from Dormaa Central and Berekum Municipalities, Dormaa West, Dormaa East, Jaman North and Jaman South districts to promote community-based mental health services.

Dr. Amo-Kodieh noted with regret that the regional hospital in Sunyani had only one working eye operating microscope while general drugs for eye administration was also lacking.

He advised the public to ensure that they go for regular eye screening and examination at least in every six months as eye problems become complicated if they are not attended to immediately.

Dr. Amo-Kodieh explained that eye examination was covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme.

He said glaucoma, a disease that affects the eye, he explained, can be inherited, but it could be operated and treated if detected early.

Dr. Amo-Kodieh expressed worry that mental health services and eye care delivery had been neglected for a long time and urged that something must be done about it.