The Central Regional office of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) as part of its 2021 Easter campaign, has organised free eye screening for commercial drivers and passengers at some transport terminals within Cape Coast.
The two-day exercise was geared towards ensuring sound eyesight of commercial drivers and passengers to prevent accidents that occur as a result of poor eyesight.
It saw hundreds of drivers and travellers at the Tantri and Pedu lorry stations screened for various eye diseases, including glaucoma and cataract.
The drivers were also educated on the dangers of eye diseases and the need to have a good eyesight for effective driving.
It was supported by the Bishop Ackon Memorial Christian Eye Centre, Bidi Group Limited, StreetSense Organisation, Blowchem, producers of Bel-Aqua and Boss energy drink, Ernest Chemist and Multipr, producers of Indomie noodles.
Ms Linda Affotey-Annag, Regional Head of the NRSA, explained the rational behind the screening and said studies had shown that there were relatively high prevalence of colour vision defects and stereopsis among drivers in the Region.
She said such visual dysfunction in parameters among commercial drivers could not be underestimated in the Region.
“According to studies done by Boadi-Kusi, et al., (2016) in the Central Region on vision functions, few drivers are aware of the existence of colour vision anomalies. For this reason the NRSA-CR decided on eye care as the main focus for this year’s activities as a way of introducing the importance of good eye sight to the commercial drivers,” she said.
She said similar exercises would be organised across various transport terminals at Agona Swedru, Kasoa, Winneba, Twifo Praso among other towns and cities in the Region.
Mr Robert Amstrong, Marketing Coordinator for Bidi Group Limited, sponsors of the exercise, said the company decided to support the campaign because end users of their product were mostly drivers who needed to be protected.
“We saw it as a duty and a corporate social responsibility to protect our clients who are mostly drivers and it is our duty as corporate institution to help the NRSA in campaigning for these things because it is important,” he said.
Mr Amstrong said that road safety was a shared responsibility and stressed the need for the corporate world to support road safety awareness campaigns, while assuring the NRSA of continued support.
Dr Paa Kwesi Hope, Principal Optometrist at the Bishop Ackon Memorial Christian Eye Centre who supervised the exercise, said they found cases of glaucoma, cataract and some refractive errors.
He underscored the importance of regular eye screening, especially for drivers saying conditions such as glaucoma could severely impair vision and could be disastrous when driving especially at night.
“If you are a driver and you are not seeing with the full complement of your vision, you are a walking disaster on the road,” he warned.
“This is very important because it will help us to identify the problems they have and quickly solve them so that their driving becomes better and their vision improves, so that they have prolonged source of livelihood by driving for more years,” he added.
He advised drivers and Ghanaians in general to visit the eye clinic regularly and also go for eye check-ups at least twice every year, to be able to detect any eye disease early.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to the GNA expressed gratitude to the NRSA and partners for the gesture and expressed the hope that more of such health screening exercises would be organised regularly.