Assessing the Value of Preventive Ophthalmologic Care in Ghana

Trenton J. Bowen


Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in Ghana. At Emmanuel Eye Centre in Accra, Ghana, a large portion of glaucoma patients do not receive glaucoma treatment until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. To identify the possible barriers between glaucoma patients and ophthalmologic care, patients who arrived at the clinic with both early and late stages of glaucoma were selected for semi-structured interviews. This Institutional Review Board-approved study had three targets: knowledge of what glaucoma is, perception of the need for eye care before treatment, and specific barriers to glaucoma care. The findings suggest that the “invisibility” of early stage glaucoma is a significant barrier to care. Rather than a lack of funds, patients did not see the value in seeking preventive ophthalmologic care.

KEYWORDS: glaucoma; prevention; ghana; aging

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Trenton J. Bowen. Assessing the Value of Preventive Ophthalmologic Care in Ghana. UBCMJ. 2011 3(1):17-19.