Ophthalmologists in Ghana are preparing to offer the new one-touch glaucoma treatment introduced to Ghana by the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) five years ago to patients across the country under the National Health Insurance Scheme.
This was disclosed by the head of the ophthalmology department of the School of Medicine of UHAS, Dr Alfred Osafo-Kwaako, while speaking at the 2018 Glaucoma Update Conference of the Ophthalmological Society of Ghana held at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
“Since 2014, the minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, MIGS, has been offered to patients in the Volta Region of Ghana. We are optimistic that by the year 2030, all hospitals across the country will offer this service. This will remove the financial burden of buying everyday expensive eyedrops from patients, families, national and private health insurance providers.” Dr Osafo Kwaako added.
The MIGS involves the creation of a tiny channel by a surgeon to relieve the pressure in the eye, and this ultimately eliminates the use of eyedrops in these patients. MIGS is safe, affordable, painless and fast. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the procedure and covered by national and private health insurance providers.
In Ghana, it is estimated that 700,000 people are living with glaucoma, out of which, 60,000 have already gone permanently blind. Dr Osafo Kwaako encouraged all eye hospitals across the country to start delivering this 10-minute treatment to patients suffering from glaucoma. Since the countrywide promotion of this painless treatment begun two years ago, no complications have been recorded. It is estimated that about 1% of glaucoma patients may still require glaucoma eyedrops after MIGS.
At present, MIGS under NHIS is available at the Ho Teaching Hospital in Ho, VR. Bookings for MIGS under NHIS may also be done at the Bemuah Royal Hospital in East Legon, Accra. Telephone: 0206430755, 0559480853.