In Ghana Over 190,000 people are blind - Study

The study indicated that the prevalence rate of blindness among those aged 50 years and above was 4.0% and increases with age to 19.12% in those aged 80 years and above.

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Over 190,000 persons in the country are blind, the 2015 Ghana Blindness and Visual Impairment Study (GBVIS) conducted under the auspices of the Ghana Health Service has revealed.

The study indicated that the prevalence rate of blindness among those aged 50 years and above was 4.0% and increases with age to 19.12% in those aged 80 years and above.

The Acting Head of Eye Care Unit, Ghana Health Service, Dr James Addy who gave the statistics during an event in Accra to mark the 2016 World Sight Day said males were affected than females.

READ ALSO: How reading from smartphone in bed at night can cause blindness

He said four out of five Ghanaians are blind from causes which could have been avoided such as cataract.

The major causes of blindness are untreated cataract (54.8%), Glaucoma (19.4%), Posterior segment disease including diabetic retinopathy (12.9%) and corneal related causes (11.2%).

READ ALSO: Oversleeping can cause blindness, researchers warn

According to Dr Addy, Ghana has 1,117 eye care professionals for the over 28 million people, with 97 Ophthalmologists, 500 eye nurses, 320 Optometrists, and 200 Opticians.

“This number is grossly inadequate for the task of offering cataract surgeries, glaucoma management, low vision services, diabetic retinopathy screening, pediatric ophthalmology among others, in Teaching, Regional and district hospitals,” he lamented.

He was, however, hopeful that blinding trachoma and onchocerciasis will soon be eliminated in Ghana.

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