There is a general shortage of health care professionals throughout Ghana, but the Minister of Health recently called attention to the shortage of ophthalmologists in the country. According to The Minister of Health, Sherry Ayittey, "'There are a little of over 74 ophthalmologists currently in the country attending to over 24 million people"" and the 3 northern regions can not even claim 3 ophthalmologists between them.
This shortage was discussed as the Minister of Health inaugurated a new, modern eye care center at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi. The 50-bed center includes three modern theatre complexes with five operating tables, an expansive out-patient department (OPD), a training and lecture wing, and a diagnostic section with consulting rooms.
At the inauguration, the Minister of Health expressed the hope that this eye care center will help decrease the healthcare gap in Ghana. She also discussed her concern over the refusal of many doctors and nurses to accept postings to rural areas, which has caused a shortage of eye care and general health care in many rural areas.
Professor Ohene Adjei, the CEO of KATH was very excited for the opening of the eye care center and also urged the center to "undertake outreach programmes and design basic courses in the diagnosis and management of common eye conditions for health staff in district hospitals without ophthalmic professionals to go a long way to improve eye care services."
The opening of this new eye care center is certainly very exciting for Ghana and will hopefully lead to improved and more equal eye care throughout the country, especially in the rural areas.