Mr Awudu Dramani, a senior optician at Friends Eye Centre in Tamale, Bulkpalisi, shared information about the centre’s services, which include general eye consultations, eye surgeries (such as cataract surgery and glaucoma), management of glaucoma, and provision of spectacles.
Regarding the cases they have worked on, Mr Dramani expressed that many people require surgery, but financial constraints made it difficult for patients to afford the procedures. In an effort to make surgeries more accessible, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. Eric M. Wilmot met with Dr Seth Wayne (Lead Surgeon) and reduced the price of the surgery. Dr Seth Wayne emphasized the need for financial assistance from NGOs to ensure surgery is available to all those in need.
The Vice-Chancellor and Dr Seth Wayne further discussed plans to establish an eye clinic at the University’s Hospital in collaboration with Friends Eye Centre. The centre will be given space to set up the clinic and bring in the necessary equipment and a resident professional to provide eye care services on-site, making it more convenient for the University community members to receive treatment.
Mr Dramani conveyed a message to the university community, emphasizing the importance of eye care. He highlighted that the eye is the window to the world and without proper vision, individuals may face limitations. Mr Dramani encouraged regular check-ups, ideally every six months, as some eye conditions may not exhibit symptoms and require thorough dilated examinations. He particularly mentioned the importance of screening for glaucoma, which can be painless and show fewer symptoms, affecting peripheral vision. He recommended everyone visit the clinic regularly for dilated eye examinations.
In terms of recommendations, Mr Dramani highlighted three key points. Firstly, regular dilated examinations every six months to identify any undetected conditions. Secondly, the use of protective glasses, especially for students and lecturers who spend significant time working on laptops, phones, and other devices, as well as protection from the sun’s effects on the eyes. Lastly, he advised against self-prescription or purchasing over-the-counter drugs for eye problems. Instead, he emphasized the importance of seeking proper check-ups to avoid potential complications, such as using inappropriate eye drops that can harm vision.
As part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of the university, CKT-UTAS Hospital, in collaboration with Friends eye centre, Tamale organized a free eye screening for the university community and residents of the Navrongo Municipality from the 12th to the 16th of February, 2023.
Patrons included the Overlord of the Navrongo Traditional Area Pe Dennis Balinia Adda Asagpare II and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Eric M. Wilmot. Prof. Juventus Ziem, Dean of the School of Medical Sciences, who doubles as the Coordinator of the Outreach Programme hinted the exercise will be extended to other towns and communities in the catchment area of the University.