Dr Akosua Agyeiwaa Owusu-Sarpong, the Central Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has appealed to stakeholders to commit the resources needed for eye care services to prevent avoidable blindness.
"Let's not only raise the issues about our eyes but get involved, commit resources and time to the global crusade to avoid blindness," she said.
Dr Owusu-Sarpong made the appeal at the launch of the 2021 World Sight Day in Cape Coast on the theme: " Love Your Eyes; Everyone Counts in Cape Coast."
The Central Region hosted the National event for the second time due to its pivotal role and its contribution towards the national efforts to prevent blindness and improve the sight of the citizenry for improved national productivity.
She indicated that the celebration in the Region had allowed the Service to do an introspection on eye care service provision and to better serve the growing demand for eye care service delivery in the Region.
Dr Owusu-Sarpong said globally, 2.2 billion people have some form of vision impairment and about one billion of the number could have been prevented or addressed.
She said global projections showed that demand for eye care services was set to surge in coming years due to population growth, ageing and changes in lifestyle.
The Regional Director explained that enhanced public knowledge about a health threat was a fundamental step in informing discussions that promoted behavioural change across multiple determinants of health policies with general public health interests.
She called on all and sundry to regularly visit health facilities for checkups for early detection of eye conditions and management to prevent visual impairment.
Mr George Frimpong, the President of the Federation of Disability in Ghana, cautioned the public against discriminatory attitudes towards persons with disabilities in the country, adding that it affected them physiologically to associate or come closer to them.
He appealed to the government to include eye care services into the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) to assist the less privileged to access that services.
Mr Frimpong advised the public to disabuse their minds that eye problems were due to ancestral curses or demonic attacks but that it was an ailment that could affect anyone no matter their personality.
World Sight Day is a global annual event held on every second Thursday of October with attention on blindness and vision impairment and to raise awareness on the disease as a major international public health issue.