An optometrist of the God’s Glory Hospital Dr. Nicholas Sarpong has revealed that an estimated 700,000 Ghanaians are currently living with glaucoma, a disease of the eye which is the major cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. 250,000 out of the total estimated affected people are ignorant of their condition ranking Ghana among the top countries with glaucoma cases.
According to him, glaucoma remains the second leading cause of blindness behind cataract in Ghana.
Speaking to Prince Minkah on the Ultimate Breakfast Show, he disclosed that there were many forms of glaucoma but the severest type, which was very prevalent in Ghana, was the primary open angle glaucoma.
“This is characterized by optic nerve damage and poor blood supply to the nerve, resulting in visual loss and subsequently permanent blindness,” he added.
Dr. Nicholas Sarpong advised that the eyes be checked at least once a year to avoid the unfortunate incidence of permanent blindness.
“Prevention, they say, is better than cure. The more people hear the message, the more willing they will be to avail themselves of screening to prevent blindness,” he added.
He indicated adults above 40 years are at risk of glaucoma but indicated that children could also be born with the disease in the cases of congenital glaucoma which is prevalent among the black race.
While underscoring the significance for intensive awareness creation, he called on the Ministry of Health (MOH) to increase the number of glaucoma drugs on the national health insurance scheme.