Health News Thu, 1 Mar 2018

UHAS embarks on glaucoma campaign

An old woman getting her eye checked by a doctor


The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ho in the Volta Region has embarked on a campaign to create awareness and enlighten residents on glaucoma -an eye condition that has got many Ghanaians blind.

Ghana is rated to be the country with the highest glaucoma prevalence, second to St Lucia on the Eastern Carribean island.

This triggered the decision to embark on the weeklong glaucoma campaign which was spearheaded by the Medical Student’s Association of UHAS.

The campaign was undertaken in the Volta Regional capital, Ho and in social media with the intention to reach a wider audience.

Some 500 residents in Ho and its surrounding communities benefited from a free health screening for glaucoma, hypertension, obesity and diabetes

Beneficiaries of the outreach were also educated on how to take proper care of their eyes and encouraged to periodically go for checkups to ensure a early detection and treatment of any eye condition.

Dr. Daniel Mensah an optometrist and a Health Officer at UHAS and a host of other medical doctors supported the students during the outreach program.

The glaucoma campaign also saw the introduction of a new and affordable eye surgery procedure, the minimally invasive surgery, which has been adopted by UHAS and the Volta Regional Hospital.

The President of the UHAS Medical Students Association of UHAS, Augustine Afriyie, who was satisfied with the outcome of the campaign explained the minimally invasive surgery involves the creation of a tiny hole in the “trabecular meshwork between the cornea and iris to reduce the intraocular pressure of the eye”. This he said causes some relief of the eye.

“Raised intraocular pressure is what commonly damages the optic nerve causing glaucoma, so the minimally invasive surgery prevents further damage on the eye”, he added.

Mr Afriyie however, appealed to the government to expedite action on the conversion of the Volta Regional Hospital into a teaching hospital to enhance the training of medical students and position the hospital to provide an all inclusive quality healthcare to residents.

He added that “the teaching hospital facility status will encourage more specialists and residents to join the team here so as to deliver minimal and easy health care to the whole region since the numbers are rising. Its unfortunate minor procedures are still referred to Accra due to the current situation.”

Source: Fred Quame Asare