Life-changing News

332,000 Ghanaians have severe visual impairment

95% need glasses but don’t have access

About 332,000 Ghanaians representing 1.07 per cent of total national population have a severe visual impairment.

This comprises refractive error-44.4 per cent and 42.2 per cent-cataracts.

A survey conducted in the country in 2015 for various eye diseases shows that about 230,000 Ghanaians representing 0.74 per cent of the total national population are blind, a national population-based prevalence survey has revealed.

127,000- cataract,

For the breakdown, cataract is caused 127,000 (54.8 per cent) while glaucoma and other causes including posterior segment diseases and corneal opacity constitutes 205,000.


A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye.

The lens of the eye is located behind the pupil and the colored iris, and is normally transparent. The lens helps to focus images onto the retina – which transmits the images to the brain.

Refractive error

A refractive error is a very common eye disorder.

It occurs when the eye cannot clearly focus the images from the outside world.

The result of refractive errors is blurred vision, which is sometimes so severe that it causes visual impairment.

Refractive errors cannot be prevented, but they can be diagnosed by an eye examination and treated with corrective glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

If corrected in time and by eye-care professionals, they do not impede the full development of good visual function.

Correction is provided in different forms according to the defect, the age of the person, the requirements in terms of work of activity performed.

About 67 per cent of people with vision impairment and about 95 per cent of those who needed glasses in the country did not have access.

506 optometrists in Ghana

Currently, Ghana has about 506 optometrists in the country and this gives a ratio of 1 optometrist to about 62,000 Ghanaians which is acceptable by World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, but the real issue is the regional distribution.

229 in Greater Accra, 110 Ashanti

Available figures show that 229 representing 45 per cent optometrists are in Greater Accra, 110 (21.7 percent) in the Ashanti, and only 167 (33.3 per cent) are spread across the other 14 regions.

error: Content is protected !!