Awareness raising and Screening for Glaucoma
The CBC Health Services has a long-standing history on Disabilities which dates back as far as 1952 with provision of care to leprosy patients. The organisation created the Integrated School for the Blind in 1981 to provide education for learners with visual impairments. In 2009, greater focus was given to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of disabilities through the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) Program. Its interventions through this Program reach out to an estimated population of 2 million inhabitants of the Region. Program Medical interventions are in the domains of Eye care, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Physiotherapy, Orthopaedics and Mental Health. The program is funded by CBM Australia.
With regards to eye care, Glaucoma proves to be an eminent threat to the locality as per data collected and analysed between 2013-2016.
Facts and figures from the CBC Health Services interventions
Between 2013-2016, a total of 141,762 patients accessed eye care services at the Mbingo Baptist Hospital (MBH) and Banso Baptist Hospital (BBH). The top 5 conditions presented during consultations were: Glaucoma, cataract, allergic conjunctivitis, dry eyes and refractive errors with Glaucoma alone constituting 20.54% (29,123 cases) of all diagnoses followed by cataract and allergic conjunctivitis with 15.84% (22,455 cases) and 11.72 % (16,611 cases) respectively. This is an indication that glaucoma is a major threat within our localities.
In 2013, 7,392 patients were diagnosed with glaucoma. This number dropped to 7,157 patients in 2014 and even further to 7,137 in 2015. There was however a surge in 2016 in the number of patients diagnosed with glaucoma reaching an annual maximum of 7,437 cases.
Adult females accounted for the majority of glaucoma cases between 2013-2016. Of the 29,123 cases of glaucoma registered, 46.7% (13,602) cases were adult females, 41.4% (12,055) adult males while children accounted for about 12.0%(1,887 boys and 1,579 girls) of all glaucoma cases within that period.
The CBC Health Services through the community outreaches conducts among other things eye screening, while the CBR Field workers and Volunteers carry out a range of community sensitisations to encourage First Degree Relatives (FDRs) aware of the need to screen for glaucoma optic nerve and ensuring that diagnosed glaucoma patients encourage their FDRs to go for screening as this is likely to save a great deal of sight.
Commemorating the 2017 edition, our main interest is to encourage each and everyone to take to task the challenge of creating more awareness on the dangers of glaucoma. Using our Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Field Workers and Volunteers, we intend to:
- Encourage and involve glaucoma patients in sensitization and screening campaigns in 6 communities, targeting approximately,
- Encourage patients to form functional patient support groups,
- Sensitise in all CBC Healthcare Institutions throughout the country by reading out the message on the “dangers of Glaucoma” written by the CBC Health services’ Director.
In this way, we are able to reach out to a great deal of people and prevent vision loss through glaucoma. It is envisaged that many more people will take up regular eye checks regardless of their ages. All our Field Workers and Volunteers are trained to do Visual Acuity.
Contact: Emmanuel Chia
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org