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10/11/2010
MASS MEASLES CAMPAIGN - NOVEMBER 3RD TO 6TH 2010

GHANA HEALTH SERVICE - MINISTRY OF HEALTH

Personnel of the Ghana Health Service immunized children 9months to 5years in a mass campaign to prevent outbreaks and also break transmissions, if any.

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09/12/2008
School Health Club

School Health Club Members at an activity

In Mother Mary of Good Counsel School, the children are aged between five and six years. These young children are very enthusiastic about the health club. Club activities starts at 1:30 pm and ends at 3:30 pm. The 'Healthy Eyes Activiity Book is what the kids are using to learn about eye health promotion. Other health promotion activities on oral health, hearing, nutrition and malaria will be introduced during the next school term.

 
 
 
 
Eye Health  Eye Disease Control
What are the causes of avoidable blindness and what is its magnitude in Ghana?

Of the 20 million people living in Ghana it is estimated that 200,000 are blind and that over 600,000 more people are visually impaired. Over 75% of these causes of blindness are avoidable. The causes of avoidable blindness include
• Cataract
• Glaucoma
• Trachoma
• Childhood blindness
• Refractive errors and Low vision
• Diabetic and Sickle cell retinopathy
100,000
  30,000 
    6,000 
    8,000 
  10,000 
    6,000
 

 
Cataract

Cataract is the leading cause of blindness. It occurs everywhere and seen most commonly in older people over age 65 years. It is treatable by operation and optical correction. Every year many more people become blind from cataract in both eyes (estimated to be 20,000 people or 40, 000 eyes) and 4,000 others become blind in only one eye (4,000 eyes). This means a total of 44,000 eyes require cataract operation if the country should keep pace with the new cataract blind patients and reduce the rate of blindness due to cataract. Currently the total operations done in Ghana take care of only a quarter of the need (10,000). Extra effort must be made to increase cataract operations. Thankfully the National Health Insurance Scheme covers cataract surgery for the insured. People must be educated to register with the NHIS.

 
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Glaucoma

Chronic glaucoma is the commonest type of the glaucomas in Ghana. It causes blindness rather silently, just like a thief in the night. Early detection of the disease is important in preserving sight. Awareness creation and early detection and treatment with regular follow-up to monitor the progress of the disease are essential in its management.

 
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Trachoma

Trachoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness associated with poverty, lack of water and poor personal hygiene and environmental sanitation. It is a focal disease in Ghana and currently a public health problem in focal communities in Northern and Upper West Regions. A control programme is in place and a number of NGOs are working in partnership with the health sector to eliminate blindness due to trachoma and to reduce the infection so that it will no longer be a health problem.

 
Childhood blindness

The causes of childhood blindness include Nutritional deficiencies especially Vitamin A, measles, infections of the cornea and the use of harmful traditional medicines and injuries. The current high measles immunization coverage has led to a reduction in the number of measles eye complications seen in eye care facilities.

Over 70% of all the causes of blindness in children are preventable. In terms of blind-years childhood blindness contributes significantly to the burden of unnecessary blindness. If nothing is done this burden will double by the year 2020.

 
Refractive errors and low vision

Refractive and low vision services are rather undeveloped. Over 85% of optometrists are based in the urban centres and therefore their services are not available to many rural areas. The Foundation will be particularly concerned with refractive errors in school-aged children and will advocate for the development of such services to reach all those who need it. It should not be necessary for any child to strugglein school to learn with an uncorrected refractive error.

 
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