Orbis International, a non-profit organization transforming lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness, is set to promote eye care services in four districts in the Ashanti Region.
The organization in collaboration with a network of partners, mentors, train, and inspire local eye care teams from health workers in rural clinics to eye surgeons in urban centers so that they can work together to save and restore vision in their communities.
It provides hands-on ophthalmology training, strengthens health infrastructure, and advocates for the prioritization of eye health on public health agendas.
An introductory meeting ahead of the implementation of the project has been held between officials of Orbis, the Regional Health Directorate, and the Health Directors of the beneficiary districts – Sekyere East, Sekyere South, Old Tafo, and Bekwai.
This is the second time the organization is rolling out the project in the Region after exiting Atwima Kwanwoma, Ejisu, Bosomtwe, and Afigya Kwabre last year.
Mr. Adoff Ollennu, Programs Manager of Orbis, said 1.1 billion people live with vision loss, 90 per cent of which is avoidable.
Billions more, he said, live with eye health conditions that required access to eye services to optimize their vision and ability to function.
“A study Orbis helped lead showed that by simply providing a pair of reading glasses, tea pickers in India showed a marked improvement in productivity and earnings”, he indicated.
He continued that, “As people live longer lives, as the world’s population grows, and as lifestyle changes cause an uptick in conditions like diabetic retinopathy and myopia, we are seeing a growing number of people with sight-threatening conditions who need eye care”.
Mr. Ollenu further stated that the number of people in need of eye care was outpacing the number of trained ophthalmologists and stressed the need for eye care professionals everywhere to access quality ophthalmic training.
It is against this background that Orbis’s faculty which is made up of ophthalmologists, nurses, anesthesiologists, and biomedical engineers are deployed to share their skills with local eye care teams to improve the level of eye care for generations to come.