Over 16,000 cataract surgeries were performed in Ghana in 2023

This is a 57% increase of 7,000 cataract surgeries performed in 2022 under the National Cataract Outreach programme

A total of 16,373 cataract surgeries were performed in Ghana in 2023, the National Eye Care Unit, under the Institutional Care Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has disclosed.

This is a 57% increase of 7,000 cataract surgeries performed in 2022 under the National Cataract Outreach programme.

A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens that sits in the eye behind the pupil.

The only way to remove cataract is through surgery, which is the most performed surgical procedure, compared with any other surgery in medicine.

It is also one of the safest surgical procedures. It involves swapping out the cloudy natural lens of the eye, or cataract, with a new artificial lens.

Dr Nazif Mohammed, ophthalmologist, and in-charge of data at the Eye Care Unit GHS, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on behalf of Dr Hornametor Afake, the head of the Eye Care Unit, said cataract is the leading cause of blindness in Ghana.

Statistics indicate that the most common causes of blindness include cataract, accounting for 54.8%, Glaucoma 19.4%, Posterior Segment Disease, including Diabetic Retinopathy 12.9% and corneal related causes 11.2%

Dr Mohammed explained that currently, 0.74 per cent of the population was blind with 1.07 per cent, having visual impairment.

He said eye diseases, including vision impairing (VI) and non-vision impairing conditions (NVIC), affected every age group.

Non-vision impairing conditions, which include refractive errors, conjunctivitis (allergic and infective), lid margin inflammation and watery eyes, can cause discomfort and transient vision disturbance and loss of productivity, he added.

He said unlike cataract, glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve permanently beyond repair, adding that blindness from glaucoma could be prevented with early detection and treatment.

People at risk of glaucoma include above age 40, African, Hispanic, or Asian heritage could inherent on the family line, high eye pressure, farsightedness or nearsightedness, eye injuries, use long-term steroid medications, have corneas that are thin in the centre, thinning of the optic nerve, diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, and poor blood circulation or other health problems affecting the whole body.

Dr Mohammed said most glaucoma suspects had no symptoms and urged the public to regularly have their eyes examined for early detection.

Research indicates that Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels, damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.

He said diabetic retinopathy at the initial stages might cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems, but it could lead to blindness.

The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication, he stated.

The ophthalmologist advised the public not to live sedentary lifestyles to reduce eye complications due to diabetes.

In recent times more cases of allergic conjunctivitis have been recorded, especially in children, and urged the public to be mindful of this.

Allergic conjunctivitis is an allergic reaction that affects the eye. Although not contagious, this type of eye problem can cause discomfort and aggravation to sufferers.

Allergic conjunctivitis usually affects both eyes. The main symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include itchy eyes, increased tearing, red or pink eyes, and mild swelling of the eyelids.

Dr Mohammed urged parents to take children who constantly rob their eyes to the hospital as they might be suffering from allergies.

“Understand that because it is an allergic reaction, the symptoms will not go after one treatment because it could be that the child is not reacting to just one allergy,” he added.

He stated that, moving forward, the objective of the Eye Care Unit was to promote and improve eye health prevention through more education and outreach to prevent as well as detect early some of the unnecessary eye conditions.

More efforts are being made to manage the conditions, more outreaches embarked on in remote areas, health professionals are being trained to help in this regard and called on the government and non-governmental organisations to assist the unit with the needed resources to improve their activities, he said.

Dr Mohammed urged patients to attend reviews and stick to their treatment plans to improve their eye conditions.

Asaase Radio 99.5 broadcasts on radio via 99.5 in Accra, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale, 100.3 in Cape Coast and on our affiliates Bawku FM 101.5 in Bawku, Beats FM 99.9 in Bimbilla, Somua FM 89.9 in Gushegu, Stone City 90.7 in Ho, Mining City 89.5 in Tarkwa and Wale FM 106.9 in Walewale
Tune in to broadcasts online:, Sound Garden and TuneIn
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995
Live streaming on Also on YouTube: 
Join the conversation. Call: 020 000 9951 or 059 415 7777. Or WhatsApp: 020 000 0995.


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected