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General News of Sunday, 28 March 2010

Source: GNA

Government to regulate optometry practice

Kumasi, March 28, GNA - Dr. Benjamin Kunbour, Minister of Health, has pledged the Government's resolve to regulate optometry practice in the country through the passage into law of the Optometry Bill. He said government would ensure the maintenance of high professional standards to check the activities of quacks.

Optometrists are the primary health care practitioners of the eye and visual system, whose services could not be underestimated, he added. Dr. Kunbour was speaking at the second Oath Swearing and Induction ceremony for 36 newly-qualified optometrists at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi on Saturday. The event was held under the patronage of the Ghana Optometric Association. The Health Minister urged the Association to mobilize resources and embark on outreach programmes involving regular free eye screening for the people. This way, they would help to bring down the incidence of blindness and related low vision cases like glaucoma and cataract.

Dr. Julius Darko, President of the Association, urged the new optometrists to always seek the interest and welfare of their patients, telling them to always uphold the ethics of their profession. This should not be compromised by the desire to make money. Professor Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said since the creation of the Department of Optometry and Visual Science in 1991, it had trained a total of 139 optometrists in Post-Graduate Diploma and Doctor of Optometry Degrees.