Believers working to prevent blindness, embark on Ghanaian survey.

By January 25, 2007

Ghana(MNN) — The World Health Organization estimates that 80-percent of world blindness doesn’t have to be.

In Ghana, alone, 80-percent of people blinded by cataracts do not receive treatment due to poverty and the lack of access to eye care service. According to the Ghana Eye Foundation, there is one ophthalmologist to every 460,000 patients. Without regular and proper care, thousands are losing their eyesight. That’s one reason International Aid is there.

International Aid’s Faye Kragt (crawt) says their Ghana team is studying eye disease and vision loss in the region. “The survey itself is being conducted from the clinic, and the survey will take, in our estimation, probably another 18 months. We started with the training two years ago, the team is on the field working now and I think approximately 15-hundred people have already been surveyed, and we have another 45-hundred that we need to see.” Data analysis will help the team evaluate the prevalence and severity of ocular disease and vision loss. That, in turn, will help them better allocate resources, as well as identify, monitor, and respond to the causes of visual disability.

Training initiatives teach primary health care workers and leaders living in rural villages how to recognize abnormal eye symptoms. Kragt goes on to say it’s more than a physical mission. “Some of them are very poor. There’s a lot of physical needs, but we also find that there’s spiritual needs. It’s a wonderful thing to prevent people from becoming blind, or curing their blindness, but it’s an even better thing to prevent spiritual blindness and to bring people to see Christ.”

Teams are specialized, but International Aid is looking for support. Click here if you’re interested in furture details.

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