Optometrist worried over cases of cataract among children in Savannah Region

Optometrist worried over cases of cataract among children in Savannah Region

An Optometrist in the Upper West Region, Dr Zakarea Al-hassan Balure has expressed concern over the number of cataract cases identified among children in the Gindabo area council in the Savannah Region.

The doctor was more worried that old age disease existed among children in the area and attributed the cause to the kind of activities and jobs people in the area were engaged in.

His concern stemmed from the fact that some of the children who patronised a free eye screening exercise for some 738 at Ginda were diagnosed with the cataract condition.
The screening was undertaken by Bliss Eye Care, a Wa-based private eye clinic in the Upper West Region which is under the management of Dr Balure.

The eye screening was under a project dubbed “Blissful Sight for Kids” project and funded by Ghana Vision, a non-profit organisation based in Switzerland.

The screening also came with some basic eye care services for people who needed immediate attention as well as giving out specific drugs and glasses for specific conditions whereas those with very severe conditions were profiled for further treatment at Wa.

According to the doctor, even though many people in the community could not make it to the screening, the cataract prevalence among the participants was very alarming and would require a deliberate plan to screen more people in the area for immediate treatment.

He defined cataract as the clouding of the clear lens of the eye and which normally developed as people aged.

He was also concerned about a trachoma case which was identified and said the case was the fourth since the beginning of the project implementation in rural areas of the Upper West Region.

Dr Balure used the opportunity to appeal to the public to take good care of their eyes and endeavour to take advantage of such eye screening exercises to know the status of their sight organs.

“We can prevent needless blindness and eye complications if we are proactive in some of these things so I will mobilise with my team and see how many more people we can screen in subsequent exercises”, he added.

The assembly member for the area, Mr Abass Braimahsaid people had various eye conditions in the area due to the nature of jobs they were engaged in which included farming and the burning of charcoal.

He mentioned that even if they developed such conditions there was no eye unit at the health centre which served over 60 communities in the area council.

“The only time you see people going to the hospital for eye services is when they can no longer contain the pain of whatever they are feeling in their eyes and that is because apart from financial challenges, the nearest hospital for such services is at either Bole or Wa which are quite far from here so they prefer to suffer in silence”, he said

This challenge the assembly member noted would be solved if an eye professional was added to the staff at the Gindabo health centre to help screen residents with eye problems regularly and advise for further treatment.
He commended Bliss Eye Care for the intervention.


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