The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in the Volta regional capital Ho has introduced a painless and complication-free procedure for the treatment of glaucoma.
The procedure called the Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) is set to bring relief to many people battling the irreversible condition which causes blindness.
Glaucoma patients no longer have to use eye drops or undergo surgery, which brings great discomfort to patients and sometimes surgeons.
It is estimated that on the average, a glaucoma patient spends about GHS260.00 per month on drugs and this places huge financial burden on many families in Ghana.
However, the Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery is not an expensive procedure.
Requiring just 10-minutes to complete, the procedure involves the creation of a tiny channel by a surgeon to relieve pressure of the eye, bringing about an improved vision which ultimately eliminates the use of eye drops by patients.
Having undergone several trials globally, various forms of MIGS have been touted as the fastest, most effective and most affordable way of treating glaucoma.
The Glaucoma Association of Ghana (GAG) estimates about 700,000 are people living with the condition in Ghana.
Experts also estimate that about 60 million people worldwide have the disease, a figure expected to shoot up to 80 million by the year 2020; 30 million of the number, do not know of their condition while nine million have gone blind.
Speaking to the media, Head of the Ophthalmology Department at UHAS, Dr. Alfred Osafo Kwaako said, “Many glaucoma patients are using several medications which can be very burdensome especially for elderly patients and people suffering from conditions like arthritis”.
He further advised Ghanaians to go for frequent checkups on their eyes because early detection was key in the treatment of glaucoma.
“The Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery is not an expensive procedure, patients with the National Health Insurance cards are required to top up a little, whilst non-card holders will only pay just about 1000 GHS and say goodbye to their eye drops for good,” Dr. Kwaako added.
The UHAS will also be running glaucoma awareness campaigns in Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Breman Asikuma and Takoradi.