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General News of Monday, 18 June 2018

Source: Esther Ohenewaa Brown

Ghana receives its first OCT eye scan

Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) eye scan equipment has been to St. Thomas Eye Hospital Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) eye scan equipment has been to St. Thomas Eye Hospital

Latter Day Saint (LDS) Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated a Beam and Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) eye scan equipment to St. Thomas Eye Hospital in Accra. Over the years moderate visual impairment, severe visual impairment and blindness have been a challenge for most Ghanaians.

A study on Ghana National Blindness and visual impairment conducted between 2015 and 2016 by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, indicated that the prevalence of blindness and severe visual impairment in Ghana was 0.74% and 1.07% respectively, with cataract, glaucoma and uncorrected refractive error being the major causes.

The Church, through LDS Charities, has committed to support individuals and organizations who are striving to provide quality eye care services for the benefit of the general public but do not have the needed resources.

In an interview with Mormon Newsroom Ghana, Peter Amdzeame, Imaging Officer of St. Thomas Hospital said the Cyrus 800 OCT scan, (which is the latest model and the first in Ghana) will be used for optic nerve analysis.

“This machine is special because it can detect leakage in the retina or damage in the optic nerve. It can detect whether you have a diabetic eye disease or glaucoma and enable early treatment” said Peter.

He further explained that the Beam scan will be used to diagnose any detachment of the macular and determine any form of bleeding in the eye of a patient.

In response to how the equipment will bless the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian, Peter Amdzeame explained that prior to the benevolent gesture by LDS Charities, most patients who visited St. Thomas Hospital with special needs were referred to other hospitals or abroad which had these facilities.

Due to the high cost associated with the treatment, the average Ghanaian could not afford such services.

“The charitable gesture and donation of this machine will be accessible to all people in Ghana because it will be affordable for patients no matter their economic condition,” Peter said.

Dr Oscar Deborah, Head of Eye Care Unit, Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital remarked that cataract is a leading cause of blindness in Ghana adding that Government will need the support of stakeholders to fight the menace. “Let me also express that I have on many occasions been part of handing over ceremonies by LDS Charities. They have over the years been of constant support to the health sector," he said.

Dr Michael Gyasi, Managing Director of St. Thomas Eye Clinic expressed much appreciation to the Church for supporting his hospital to deliver quality and affordable eye treatment to the Ghanaian populace. “I am not a member of the Church. I only took a bold step to contact them for this support without knowing what the outcome would be”.

Dr Jon Gunther, a Volunteer of LDS Charities explained that the Church selects organizations that can effectively use the donated equipment for the benefit of all. “These are sacred funds and the Church partners with people they believe can take good care of the equipment”.

Elder and Sister Germane, humanitarian missionaries, explained the Church is committed to helping the poor and needy in society, especially individuals with eye diseases, so they can be healed to see what is important in their lives.

Management of the Hospital as part of their commitment to providing quality eye care to Ghanaians, have committed to provide hands-on training to eye specialists from other hospitals to help them familiarize themselves with the use of the new equipment.

LDS Charities has over the years provided support to institutions in the health and education sector as part of the Church’s effort to contribute to the development of the countries in which they operate.

Dignitaries present at the handing over ceremony included Ignatius Baidoo, Stake President of Laterbiokoshie Stake, Charles Akorligleh, First Counselor to Laterbiokoshie Stake Presidency and Duncan Gonyuie, Board Member of St. Thomas Eye Hospital.

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