Ophthalmologists in 8 regions of Ghana are preparing to offer the new painless glaucoma treatment introduced to Ghana by the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) to patients across the country. This was disclosed by the head of ophthalmology department of UHAS, Dr. Alfred Osafo Kwaako, while speaking at the Ophthalmological Society of Ghana's 2018 Glaucoma Update Conference held at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is safe, affordable, painless and fast. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. All eye hospitals across the country have been encouraged to start delivering this service to glaucoma patients. The procedure 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 by these patients.
"Since 2014, the MIGS procedure has been offered in the Volta region of Ghana. Ophthalmologists are now preparing to offer this service in all regions except the Upper East and Upper West regions. We are optimistic that, by the year 2020, all hospitals in Ghana will offer this service" Dr. Osafo-Kwaako added. Since the countrywide promotion of the painless procedure started about one year ago, no complications have been recorded. The only problem we encountered was that the procedure was ineffective in about 5% of Ghanaian patients treated, and these patients needed to repeat the painless procedure or return to the eyedrops they were using before the procedure. Speaking about cataract blindness, Dr. Alfred Osafo Kwaako added that the hundreds of Ghanaians with various degrees of cataract blindness can now undergo surgery without painful eye injections. Traditionally, cataract operations in Ghana required eye injections that many patients dread to receive and yearn to avoid. Speaking to the media about the no injection procedure, Dr. Alfred Osafo Kwaako expressed his excitement about the impressive success rate of the procedure. With the new procedure, cataract surgeries are conducted under topical anesthesia using eyedrops instead of eye injections.
"Ghanaians now have a choice whether or not to accept painful eye injections during cataract surgery. So far, 509 cataract operations have been done without injections in Greater Accra, Central, Western, and Volta Regions from 2011 to 2018" he added. Ophthalmic nurses who assisted with the operations in the various hospitals concluded that the new procedure had revolutionized cataract surgery in Ghana. Ghanaians can have access to these new procedures for glaucoma and cataract at the Volta Regional Hospital, Ho, the Bemuah Royal Hospital at East Legon, the Sanford Health Eye Clinic at Ritz junction, West Adenta and the Dr. Rose Mompi Eye Hospital in Hohoe. The Sanford Health Clinic has also taken delivery of 15,000 new spectacles for free distribution to students between the ages of 12 years and 30 years. These spectacles can also serve as spare or emergency glasses so that students do not miss lectures or exams when there is a problem with their first pair of spectacles. The students are required to pay registration and eye examination fees. However, these fees may be covered, partly or fully, by NHIS or private mutual health insurance schemes.
For inquiries about the free spectacles for students or new treatment for glaucoma and cataract, call 0559480853.