Dr. Kwadwo Owusu Akuffo, Head of the Department of Optometry and Visual Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has asked Ghanaians to strive to seek regular eye care.
According to him, visual impairment was a significant health problem in the country, therefore, regular examination was critical to help detect the possible presence of disorders at an early stage when treatment was more likely to be effective.
“It gives the eye care professional the chance to correct vision changes and provide one with tips on caring for his or her eyes”, Dr. Owusu Akuffo told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in an interview in Kumasi.
This was on the side-lines of the launch of two books – ‘The Eye Book’ and ‘The Singing Tree’ designed to raise awareness of visual impairment and its easy identification and treatment.
The two books are the work of the Departments of Optometry and Visual Science, Language and Communication Sciences, and Publishing Studies of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), as well as Orbis International, Ghana.
‘The Eye Book’ is intended for use by physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals who work in the area of ophthalmology, as a tool to facilitate their discussions with patients, parents, family members or caregivers.
The ‘Singing Tree’ is also a document serving as an educational tool to educate children, their parents and their teachers that poor vision is a problem that can be corrected.
Dr. Owusu Akuffo pointed out that globally the leading causes of vision impairment included uncorrected refractive errors, cataract, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, corneal opacity and trachoma.
These ailments, he said, could be devastating if not identified earlier for prompt treatment, noting that it was advisable for those with visual impairment to avoid self-medication in their own interest.
Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo, the KNUST Pro-Vice-Chancellor, commended the Departments for the good work done, saying in an era where misinformation was rife the two books would help people with visual challenges to make informed decisions.
Prof. Charles Marfo, Provost of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, hinted that it took the University and its partners about three years to complete the project.