Ghana

It is estimated that more than 9 000 children are blind, between 50 to 70 percent of the cases being avoidable.

Facing The Challenge

The need for child eye health services in Ghana is immense. Unfortunately, children are not accessing services early enough to avoid going blind.

Our Response

• Orbis Africa and our partners created a programme to train ophthalmologists in child eye care.

• Orbis is carrying out research around quality of services, health-seeking behaviour and the mobilisation of patients to access services.

• Orbis Africa is providing the equipment and supplies needed for sustainable eye care services.

• We advocate at the national, regional and local level to raise awareness around the importance of child eye health.

• We are strengthening services at the district level and improving the referral system for children.

• In 2017 advocated for and supporting the roll out of a national Hospital Management Information Systems system.

Our Presence

We are building the technical capacity and skills at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to treat paediatric health conditions at the tertiary level.

• Orbis Africa is implementing four key interventions at community, primary and district levels of the health and education system:

– Working with Queen Mothers at the community level to improve awareness of eye health conditions and services available.

– Training Community Health Officers to identify, treat and refer children with eye health conditions at a primary level.

– Strengthening the capacity of district hospitals to treat and refer children with eye health conditions appropriately.

– Ensuring school children are screened for refractive error and receive the correct spectacles.

Successes

• We improved the capacity of KATH in terms of skills, equipment and supplies to provide specialised services to children in a well-equipped paediatric eye unit. We have seen a 51% increase in the number of children accessing surgery at KATH.

• Orbis Africa developed a programme to integrate eye health across the eye-health system, drive demand and improve access.

• We developed a curriculum to train Community Health Officers, Queen Mothers, School Health Programme Coordinators (for school screenings). We also trained eight ophthalmic nurses to roll out this curriculum.