Stop using traditional medicines to treat eye conditions – GHS warns

The Head of the Eye Care Unit of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr James Addy, has cautioned that the use of traditional medicines on the eye contributes to the loss of eye sights  as the leaves used in the preparation of the medicines contained bacteria and fungus

He told the Gold street Business in an interview in Accra on Tuesday that about 80 per cent of blindness in Ghana can be prevented through proper nutrition and regular eye checkup.

The need for proper eye care

“Using traditional medicines on the eye can be corrosive and causes a cornea ulcer on the eye, which can be very difficult to treat,” he said.

He called for the inclusion of eye care services at the Primary Healthcare level to ensure that community health nurses engage the members of the community in which they work and educate people on best ways to prevent eye illness.

Dr. Addy said persons living with diabetes are prone to blindness and must go for regular eye checkups to prevent blindness.

He observed that due to the lack of awareness on the importance of eye care, most patients delay treatment for cataracts, which can be treated through surgery.

He stated that every individual was prone to having cataracts on their eyes while ageing, and it was necessary for people to seek treatment of cataracts on their eyes while they grow up.

The Governments Role

The Ghana Health Service was according to him, working to promote healthy lifestyles among the public.

Dr. Addy however asked the government to subsidize the training fees for nurses and doctors who specialize in ophthalmology.

He also appealed to the government to make available the necessary resources and logistics to render effective and efficient eye care services to the public.

World Eyesight Day

Ghana will tomorrow join the rest of the world to observe the world eye sight day on the theme ‘Eye care everywhere’ to emphasize the need for all countries to inculcate eye care into all levels of health provision.

The world eye sight day is celebrated in the second Thursday in October to create awareness on the causes and prevention of blindness and visual impairment.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey