E/R: NATIONAL CATARACT OUTREACH PROGRAM (NCOP) LAUNCHED

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The National Cataract Outreach Program (NCOP) was officially launched on Monday, September 17 at the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua. This project is funded by the Himalayan Cataract Outreach (USA) in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service under the theme, “Ghana Beyond Cataract Blindness.” Cataract has been found to be the leading cause of blindness in Ghana with 40,000 cataract surgeries required every year to curb the menace

Dr. Badu Sarkodie on behalf of Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General of the Ghana Health Service officially launched the program. He said the rate of blindness in the country is 7.4/1000, representing 207,200 people living with blindness while severe impairment is 10.7/1000 representing 299,600 people living with visual impairment.

He added that the major aim of the project is to totally erase Cataract Blindness from Ghana by performing 30,000 Cataract surgeries before 2020. The program will also offer victims the opportunity undergo free Cataract screening and medication to avoid total Cataract Blindness.

The Director-In-Charge of the Eye Care Unit of the Ghana Health Service, James Addy revealed that about 54% of the population have cataract infections. He advised Ghanaians to seek medical attention at the early stages of cataract rather than allowing it to foster.

He added that about 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide, with 39 million being blind and 246 million having low vision.

“Poor eyesight is a major risk factor for the carnage on our roads,” he concluded

By: Afia Acheampong | atmogh.com

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