An eye care and treatment exercise for cured lepers living in a community near the Ho Polyclinic, formerly a leprosarium, is underway.
It is under the auspices of Life for the Living Medical and Humanitarian Centre (LILIMEM), a health-oreinted non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Ho, supported by Cross Cause Charity, an Irish charity.
Reverend Benjamin Bankas, Director of LILIMED, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Ho that two batches of the cured lepers were sent to the Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic, at East Legon, Accra, for treatment.
He said eye diseases being treated under the programme included cataract, refraction errors and trachoma.
Rev. Bankas said Cross Cause Charity paid for screening to select the afflicted cured lepers with money from Conor Hughes and Kieran Lavery, its directors .
He said the Irish charity also sponsored the NGO’s outreach programmes to identify communities in dire need of eye care.
Rev. Bankas said the NGO’s biggest challenge was the inability to provide increasing number of cured lepers with spectacles .
He said the NGO was currently undertaking an outreach programme in the Afram Plains to identify those in need of eye care.
He said Dr. Thomas Tontie Baah, Director of the Save the Nation’s Sight Clinic, undertook eye treatment virtually free of charge for the lepers – provided them meals and transport from Ho to the clinic.
Dr Baah told the GNA that he was motivated to undertake the activity by his association with two blind relatives, who he guided when he was young.
The Director of the Clinic said he believed there were many people in the rural areas with eye conditions that needed the attention of specialists, but added that some of these conditions could be reserved .
Dr Baah expressed regret that such people hardly received help as eye care services were concentrated in the urban areas, where ophthalmologists engaged in sometimes fanciful eye needs of the rich.
He called on Government to tailor health policies such that it would bring eye care services to the needy majority. GNA