University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), Ho, has made giant strides in the treatment of Glaucoma, an eye condition that causes irreversible blindness across the world, by introducing a painless and complication-free procedure called the Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS).
Since 2014, many Ghanaians got MIGS and escaped from the lifelong everyday eye drops usage. Requiring just 10-minutess to complete the procedure, the MIGS involves the Surgeon creating a tiny channel, to relieve pressure off the eye causing some improved vision which ultimately eliminates the use of eye drops by patients. Having undergone several trials globally, various forms of MIGS have been touted as the fastest, most effective and most affordable way of treating glaucoma which the Glaucoma Association of Ghana (GAG) estimates about 700,000 people living with the condition in Ghana.
In the past, glaucoma patients resorted to either the traditional glaucoma surgery, which many surgeons and patients disliked because of its related complications or used eye drops which leaves some patients complaining about itchiness and pain sometimes after its use. Experts claim on the average, a glaucoma patient spends about GHc260.00 per month on drugs and this places huge financial burdens on many families in Ghana. The Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery is not an expensive procedure.
Currently, and henceforth UHAS is running glaucoma awareness campaigns in Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Breman Asikuma and Takoradi, where patients living outside Ho or the Volta region can call 0559480853 for screening appointments for the MIGS procedures.
Speaking to the media, Head of the Ophthalmology department at UHAS, Dr. Alfred Osafo Kwaako said, “Many glaucoma patients are using several medications which can be very burdensome especially for elderly patients and people suffering from conditions like arthritis”. He further advised Ghanaians to go for frequent checkups on their eyes because early detection was key in the treatment of glaucoma. “The Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery is not an expensive procedure, patients with the National Health Insurance cards are required to top up a little, whiles non-card holders will only pay just about 1000 GHC and say goodbye to their eye drops for good,” Dr. Kwaako added.
Experts estimate that about 60 million people worldwide have the disease, a figure expected to shoot up to 80 million by the year 2020, 30 million of the number, do not know of their condition while nine million have gone blind.