Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Vodafone Ghana today announced that it is working in collaboration with Sight savers and the Ghana Health Service to restore the sight of 2,500 visually-impaired people suffering from cataract and trachoma across Ghana.  This is as part of its contribution to World Sight Day; a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to focus global attention on blindness and visual impairment.
Vodafone Ghana funded this initiative which is being organised by Sight savers as part of the World Sight Day celebrations.  The project is being led by qualified health care professionals from the Ghana Health Service, who have set up over 80 screening centres across the country, offering free screening and surgeries on patients suffering from cataract and trachoma; two major causes of blindness in Ghana. Vodafone Ghana’s association with this life-saving initiative reaffirms its commitment to the well-being of Ghanaians especially economically-disadvantaged people who have little or no access to quality health care. The funding provided by Vodafone enabled Sight savers and the Ghana Health Service to extend screening and treatment across all the regions till the end of November 2011.

According to Carmen Bruce Annan, Head of Corporate Communications at Vodafone, Vodafone is delighted to be partnering with Sightsavers and the Ghana Health Service to give the ‘gift of sight’to 2,500 visually impaired Ghanaians. “We are passionate about the health of the people in our communities, especially the less privileged sections of the society. Eyesight is something that can easily be taken for granted, yet we know that cataract is the leading cause of blindness in our country.  We consider it an honour to be in the position to make a real and lasting impact in these patients’ lives’’, she said.
On her part, the Country Director of Sight savers Ghana, Joyce Ashun, said, “As we celebrate this year’s World Sight Day under the theme: Reducing Blindness, ‘The Importance of Eye Care in National Development’, Sight savers wants to reinforce our belief that no one must go blind from avoidable blindness. This, however, requires a collective responsibility and this is why we are excited to be working with Vodafone this year to celebrate World Sight Day and to help restore sight for many people across the country. We are also in partnership with the Ghana Health Service which will spearhead the celebrations and ensure that sight-restoring surgeries are performed during the period of the celebrations’’.
The World Health Organisation information on blindness indicates that cataract is the leading cause of blindness globally, accounting for between 40 to 50 per cent of all blindness. Cataract is very common with people above 50 years.

In Ghana, the major causes of blindness are cataract refractive errors, which account for 50 per cent of sight impairment; trachoma, with1 percent; Glaucoma 15 percent; corneal scars, five per cent and other causes, 15 percent.

The screening and treatment sessions will run till end of November under the supervision of Sight savers. Screening and treatment sessions started Monday 10th October 2011 however, a number of the centres have already started screening and treating patients.