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An eye checkup each birthday could prevent avoidable sight loss – Ophthalmologist

Eye Exam

An ophthalmologist Dr Akwasi Agyemang Ahmed is recommending that each Ghanaian gives him or herself an eye check-up treat as part of plans to mark their birthdays. This recommendation comes at a time when medics are worried Ghanaians are reporting to eye clinics with advanced eyesight conditions due to the generally poor health-seeking behaviour towards regular eye screening.

“There are many eye conditions and some start latent meaning they are hidden. By the time you realize, there is a lot of damage that has been done to the eye,” he pointed out. The vitreoretinal surgeon with the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Managing Director for the Rods and Cons Eye Care Services Ltd. Believes imbibing this; will save many from preventable sight loss and blindness.

“In Ghana, there is a very high prevalence of glaucoma and a lot of patients do not know until it is very late,” the surgeon disclosed. According to the Ghana Blindness and Visual Impairment Study, 2015), the most common causes of blindness in Ghana are cataracts (54.5%), Glaucoma (19.4%) and Posterior Segment Disease including Diabetic Retinopathy (12.9%) and corneal related causes (11.2%).

The medical consultant is positively reinforcing the need for regular eye screenings with a date as memorable as one’s birthday would provide the needful health consciousness which appears unusual to several Ghanaians. “As we make New Year resolutions, people have started planning their birthday parties. I would say that plan an eye checkup on your birthday. In addition to treating yourself to a birthday cake, or a birthday party, include eye care and a general health checkup,” he recommended

Out of thirty million people in Ghana, about 300,000 are blind with some 332,000 suffering severe visual impairment. Dr Akwasi Agyemang Ahmed charged Ghanaians to do themselves the favor considering the critical role a healthy eye plays in the important socio-economic activities of daily lives.

He advised, “We work so hard to try to make money to take care of our families. It’s the eye we use most of the time to help us achieve these things so I think we should start paying attention to it and focusing on it.” Dr. Akwasi Agyemang Ahmed is an Ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained vitreoretinal surgeon.

He is one of Ghana’s few highly trained medics specializing in surgical and medical treatments of the retina and vitreous with a special interest in sickle cell retinopathy, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachments.

Source: Ghana/ Heathcote–Fumador


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