About a thousand out of 10,000 residents of three constituencies of the Western Region who received free cataract screening have undergone surgical operations as well as treatment at the St. Martin de Porres Hospital at Ekwe by the kind courtesy of three MPs from the Nzema area.
The free screening and surgical operations were made possible by the Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, MP for Jomoro, Dorcas Afo-Toffey, and MP for Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira Constituency, Kofi Arko Nokoe with the aim of collaboratively combating the widespread cataract cases in the area.
Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of the free Cataract screening and surgical operations at Ekwe, the Medical Consultant leading the exercise, Dr. Seth Lartey, said various types of cataracts have been reported following the screening exercise carried out by the medical team conducting the annual eye screening programme.
Dr. Lartey, who is also a Consultant at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, said many of the patients that showed up for the free screening could have easily gone blind if not for the free Cataract screening intervention by the three MPs.
“Our main focus is on cataracts, and the reason being that cataract is the commonest cause of blindness in this part of the country. It is responsible for over 51 percent of all blindness in this country. People with eye related complications must report to health facilities and get treatment rather than sitting on the fence while complaining, hence this exercise is commendable”, he said.
The KNUST lecturer, however, said that due to medical advancement, surgery and treatment for cataract exists, urging people to take advantage of it.
A representative of the three Members of Parliament, Alex Mahama, who supervised the exercise, said it would provide a huge relief for families of the beneficiaries.
“Many people, who had hitherto given up for virtually becoming blind, would get the opportunity to see once again.”
Thousands of people who form the nucleus of the human resource pool of the communities in Nzema, and had their vision impaired following the complications of cataracts, could have remained blind, hence the intervention by the three lawmakers is good. People queue to elect office holders on grounds of gaining something significant from their leadership, and that obviously inform their decisions during the polls. Before one could occupy a leadership position, you should have met these qualities and criteria that have been demonstrated by the Nzema MPs”, he said.
Two of the beneficiaries of the initiative, Somiah Andoh, a retired broadcaster and Seth Nyame, an opinion leader at Nkroful, expressed gratitude to the three MPs and all stakeholders who collaborated to offer the thousands of beneficiaries an opportunity to see and improve their sights.
The free Cataract screening and surgical operations is an annual programme carried out to stamp out cataracts in the beneficiary three constituencies.
Although the COVID-19 affected the annual programme last year, the three MPs of Ellembelle, Jomoro and Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira Constituencies ensured its implementation this year to cover, discover and recover many cataract patients in the Nzema enclave.
Complications of Cataract include infection, retinal detachment, inflammation inside the eye, swelling in certain parts of the eye, retention of a piece of the cataract inside the eye, glaucoma, hemorrhage (bleeding), possible worsening of certain eye conditions (such as diabetic retinopathy), and failure to improve actual functions.