Red Cross to intensify anti blindness initiative

The Northern Region office of the Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) and its partner, are to intensify the Action against Childhood Blindness (AACHIB) initiative to help reduce preventable blindness amongst school children in the area.

Mr Abdul-Rahamani Yussif, the Northern Regional Manager of the GRCS, announced this after a two-day second quarter review and planning meeting of the Society and its partners, in Tamale, over the weekend.

The meeting was attended by the GRCS’ district organizers and focal persons in the Region, including partners such as the Swiss Red Cross, Ghana Health Service, and ophthalmic nurses working under the AACHIB initiative.

It was to take stock of activities of the stakeholders in the region over the second quarter of the year and plan for the third quarter of the year.

Mr Yussif said the AACHIB initiative had been helpful in reducing childhood blindness hence the need to scale it up to ensure that many children across the districts benefited.

Under the initiative, Ghana Red Cross trained volunteers to visit communities in selected districts to identify children with eye problems, and to refer them to hospitals for treatment with the Society bearing the cost of treating patients who did not subscribe to the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Some of the about 11districts where the initiative is implemented include Bole, Nanumba North, Zabzugu, Yendi Municipality, and Tamale Metro.

Mr Yussif said the Ghana Red Cross’ mobile surgical team would also visit the districts to offer treatment to patients, especially in the area of cataract surgery.

He said an in-service training would be held for ophthalmic nurses and the GRCS’ district organisers to equip them with new trends in quality eye care services and first aid.

Sub-district level refresher training would also be organised for the Society’s volunteers to ensure efficiency and revamp their activeness.

Mr Frederick Anti, the Head of Operations at the Swiss Red Cross, said the AACHIB initiative was also to inculcate healthy eye practices among children to prevent blindness. GNA

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