The Eye Care Needs of Persons with Visual Impairment in a District Hospital in Ghana

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Scholars Middle East Publishers
Almost 80% of the world‟s visual impairment is treatable or preventable. Regardless of this, millions of people are at risk of visual loss due to the lack of eye-care services. The study examined eye care needs of persons with visual impairments in a District Hospital in Ghana, specifically to assess the availability of eye care services, challenges and measures to improve accessibility. A qualitative approach was adopted to interview persons with visual impairments and eye care providers. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample size of 20; 15 visually impaired and 5 health care providers. A semi-structured interview guide was adopted to capture data onto a voice recorder and transcribed into written notes. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse themes generated from the data according to the objectives. The study found that eye care services were available to some extent but accessibility to the services was limited due to inadequate transport fares and poor health insurance coverage. Aids to accompany clients were limited. Poor infrastructure and equipment limited the ability of healthcare providers to offer effective services. The study recommends that outreach services should be encouraged to provide services at the doorstep to majority and refer complex cases to hospital to reduce cost of transportation. The study further recommends that relevant infrastructure and equipment should be provided by government through the Ghana Blind Union to improve eye care services and also to ensure that health insurance policies adequately cover diagnosis, treatment and the provision of assistive devices.
Published in Saudi Journal of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
visual impairments, eye care, persons with visual impairments, assistive device, Ghana, Ghana Blind Union
Published in Saudi Journal of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences