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Ghana: Inaugural World Glaucoma Awareness Week 2024 commences at The Trust Specialist Hospital

The inaugural World Glaucoma Awareness Week was launched by The Trust Specialist Hospital on March 11, 2024, at the hospital’s conference room. The event began a series of activities aimed at raising awareness of the medical condition. Beyond its symbolic significance, it was a testament to the hospital’s commitment to promoting ocular health and overall well-being within the community and among its esteemed clientele.

Glaucoma, a condition that often goes unnoticed until it is too late, reveals concealed truths within the shadows of vision. The event served as a reminder of the importance of regular eye check-ups and early detection in managing the condition and preserving one’s sight.

During her speech, Dr. Juliana Oye Ameh, the CEO of The Trust Hospital, stressed the importance of raising awareness about glaucoma, a silent but widespread cause of vision loss that affects millions of people worldwide. She highlighted the significance of initiatives to increase awareness, advocate for early detection, and promote preventative measures. Dr. Ameh also emphasized that her hospital’s dedicated medical professionals are prepared to provide guidance, support, and provide the highest standard of care.

Mr. Dennis Aggrey-Ampiah, a retired Administrative Analyst of UNDP and a glaucoma patient at the Trust Specialist Hospital narrated his story of being diagnosed with the disease over a decade ago and described his journey of treatment and care. He advised Ghanaians to refrain from self-medication and report early to the hospital when they detected signs of vision decline.

He also warned against quacks and the wrong use of eyeglasses saying; “Be cautious of quacks who parade with all kinds of concoctions, claiming to cure glaucoma and other eye diseases. Avoid buying cheap eyeglasses from questionable sources and report eye problems to the hospital immediately to avoid future vision loss. Treasure your eyes, don’t wait till you lose your sight,” he said.

Mr Harrison K. Abutiate, the National President of Glaucoma Patients Association of Ghana (GPAG), appealed to the Government to remove all taxes on glaucoma medications. Mr Abutiate, during his speech, said treatment had become a challenge due to the high cost of medication arising from high taxes and exchange rates.

“One of the reasons prices are high is because of the high taxes and exchange rate. Taxes on them are about fifty percent of the cost of the drugs. If you add the freight charges and importers’ margin, we will be talking about almost 75 to 80 percent of the charges. So, if the government reduces the tax by 50 percent, it will be affordable, probably a third of what we are paying now,” he said.

source: thebftonline.com

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