A visually impaired student of the University of Ghana (Legon) Malik Afari Doodu has advised Ghanaians on how to keep their sight intact even when there is a challenge seeing well.
He said most people are quick to consult fetish priests for assistance when they develop eye defects instead of seeking medical attention from professionals and revealed that it can cause blindness.
“I don’t believe that any witch can make someone blind but rather it’s the superstitious things we believe in are possible causes,” he told Pomaah Kyekyeku on Tonton Sansan on TV XYZ.
“Sometimes our own perception and misconception that we have in mind could lead to blindness,” he said while urging parents to sell medical attention when there is a defect of the eye.
“The moment you give birth to a child and you realize that there is a problem with his sight, send him or her to the hospital, not a fetish priest,” Doodu, who lost his sight from birth advocated.
Dodoo was speaking in connection with World Sight Day (WSD) which is an international event that creates awareness about blindness and visual impairment. It is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.
For this purpose, Dodoo admonished Ghanaians to seek medical attention whenever there is anything wrong with their sight, adding that “we must get our eyes tested and encourage those we know to go for it, as well.”
To parents with children with any form of visual impairment, Dodoo advised them to send them to school “and ignore the perception that it’s a crime for one to be blind,” adding that there are enough schools in the country for the blind.
“Life is not over for the blind. we should take them to school Akuapong School for the Blind, Wa School for the Blind are all there as well as the Bechem School for the Blind and Deaf, and Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind,” he stated.
The theme for this year’s celebration of World Sight Day is “Love Your Eyes.” The theme stresses the need for awareness about our eye health and the need for taking care of our eyesight.
The world’s population is aging and people are living longer but blindness from chronic conditions is also rising, according to WHO.
About 1 billion people around the globe across all age groups are either near-sighted, far-sighted or have serious vision impairments like blindness. India alone houses over 20 percent of the world’s blind population.
About 80 percent of the world’s 45 million blind people are aged over 50 years. About 90 percent of blind people live in low-income countries, where older people, especially older women, face barriers to getting the necessary eye health care.
Yet, many age-related conditions leading to blindness – such as cataract, refractive error and glaucoma – can be easily and cheaply treated or cured. Timely intervention can often delay or reduce their effects on vision.