Eye Screening

The West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo) has organised a specialised medical outreach for its host communities in Kpone and Tema Manhean in the Greater Accra Region.

The annual healthcare programme provided free eye screening by specialists from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to more than 500 residents of the communities.

The outreach was to provide solutions to residents with eye problems who had no access to specialists.

Some beneficiaries were provided with medicated glasses, eye-drops and other medicines.

Those with severe conditions needing further attention were referred to the Tema General Hospital and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Dr Gladys Fordjour, the Eye Specialist in charge of the outreach, in a press release to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said cases that came up included cataract, which she said often developed slowly and led to a decrease in vision.

She said other diagnoses were refractive errors, allergies and a few cases of glaucoma, saying “I must say these are pretty serious cases that need further attention.’’

Dr Fordjour said, “We have strongly advised those we have referred to make sure they visit the hospital since failure to do that could lead to blindness, while we also advise others on proper eye care.”

She advised the residents to regularly visit health facilities with eye specialists to receive good eye care services.

Mr William W. Atiapah, an opinion leader in one of the beneficiary communities, described the outreach as critical and timely due to industrial activities in the areas.

He said “We have a health facility here but these are specialised services that are not readily available here for the people in the community to access. For eye-care, we rely on the benevolence of companies such as WAPCo”.

He encouraged those referred to Tema General and Korle-Bu Teaching hospitals to treat their situations as urgent.

The External Relations Manager of WAPCo, Mr Mark K. Mensah, said WAPCo considered the medical outreach as a critical intervention, which was agreed upon through consultations with members of the beneficiary communities.

He said, “we identified eye problems as a challenge during one of our interactions with the schools and realised that some students and pupils are always called to be seated in front. Our probe revealed that they cannot see from afar.”

Mr Mensah said that observation prompted the outreach and expressed concerns about the emerging cases of glaucoma, saying “The sad part of glaucoma is that it does not show any symptoms until it’s too late, which has resulted in many losing their sights.”

He said, the Company, aside the medical care in Greater Accra, built a Community Centre at Aboadze, a clinic and maternity facility for a community in Tema, a school and teachers’ quarters for Kpone as well as instituted a scholarship programme for brilliant but needy children.

Mr Mensah said, “We have also extended support to students pursuing various programmes in the universities and those who want to go into vocational training, WAPCo has designed a scheme called Community Youth Enterprise Scheme (CYES) to support them in that direction, and give them tools to start a business.”

He said similar interventions would be extended to the other five host communities and their surroundings in the Shama District of the Western Region.

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