AsaaseGhanaHealthNews

Ghana Blind Union: Less than 40% of blind people own a white cane 

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Thursday (3 November), Obeng Asamoah called on businesspeople and other well meaning Ghanaians to support them in buying the device

Peter Obeng Asamoah, the executive director of the Ghana Blind Union has said less than 40% of blind people in Ghana can afford a white cane, a device used by people who are blind or visually impaired.

A white cane primarily allows its user to scan their surroundings for obstacles or orientation marks, but is also helpful for onlookers in identifying the user as blind or visually impaired and taking appropriate care.

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Thursday (3 November), Asamoah called on businesspeople and other well meaning Ghanaians to support them in buying the device.

“The Ghana Blind Union is an NGO, we don’t receive support from government, so we do it on our own,” he said. “The people can’t afford the canes. They need the canes. The canes are important but they [the canes] are not coming. So, we import them and distribute it to our people.”

“It’s not like a central distribution, we go out there into the hinterlands, some people too come to us for the canes and we also teach them how to use the canes. So, that’s what we do. So, we purchase the canes and distribute them,” Asamoah said.

He added: “We buy the canes between US$12 and US$15. The information we have at the Ghana Blind Union is that less than 40% have white canes, so quite an overwhelming number i.e 60% in this country do not have white canes and that is not a good thing.”

According to him, although the government provides some sort of support through the District Assembly Common Fund, it is insufficient.

“Sometimes the funds are not catered for. They become arrears but as for direct funding to Ghana Blind Union, nothing comes to us at all. As for white canes we don’t get them at all and that really concerns us, because these people are citizens of the country too.”

The union is appealing to the general public to help purchase more white canes for the blind.

“You can come to the Ghana Blind Union office, we are located at Adabraka, near the Holy Spirit Cathedral. Our official number is 0558444565. GHC80 for a cane, help us buy these canes for the blind,” he said.

 

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