The Ocular Prosthesis Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) on Wednesday joined the world to mark the World Ocular Prosthesis Day on the theme: ‘An Eye For An Eye’.
The day which is the first to be celebrated in Ghana was to highlight the availability of ocular prosthesis, fake eye that restores the structure and aesthetic defect caused by eye removal at the KBTH Eye Centre.
Dr Seidu Adams, Head of Department (HoD) for the KBTH Eye Centre, stated that centre has tried to ensure that the services it provides improve the quality of life of its patients.
He said some patients, however, have to deal with the loss of an eye through trauma, tumour, glaucoma, diabetes which can be devastating for the client and their family.
“Patients who lose one of their eyes become handicapped therefore restoring their eye using an artificial prosthesis eye brings back their confidence,” he said.
Addressing the audience, the former HoD of the Eye Centre, Dr Edith Dogbe, explained that the unit began during her tenure as the head discovered an advert for the training of an ocularist in India.
“So I got one of the ladies who had always shown interest learning to be an ocularist to apply for the training. Evelyn Kyereh went and came back as a trained ocularist,” she said.
Dr Dogbe mentioned that the creation of the unit was not easy, as equipment for the design and moulding of the artificial eye was not readily available. She said Evelyn, however, through persistence was able to get some machines to do her work.
“I want to tell the nurses here to always aspire to go into some form of specialty so as to be more useful to society,” she said.
Evelyn Kyereh, the only trained ocularist in the country, disclosed that although ocular prosthesis is not a permanent replacement for a loss eye, they are custom-made to suit the requirements of every facial type and made to match the functional eye down to the shade of the iris.
She explained that the artificial eyes are made from white acrylic and it often takes three days to go through the process of manufacturing the custom-made new eyes for patients.
Ms Kyereh said the unit which she started in 2013 has so far served 133 clients, with new custom-fit ocular prosthesis countrywide and from the sub-region as well.
She added that a survey carried out at the centre about the unit service indicated patients having a positive perception about their custom-fit ocular prosthesis.
“Ninety six percent perceived that it fits well into their eye socket and they were comfortable and concealed the defect. It made them confident, increased their self-esteem and made them feel acceptable among people and it was less expensive,” she hinted.
Dr Asiamah, Acting Director of Medical Affairs of KBTH, who spoke on behalf of the CEO of the hospital, pledged to facilitate the procurement of the needed equipment for the unit.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri