Toward eliminating blindness due to uncorrected refractive errors: assessment of refractive services in the northern and central regions of Ghana


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Abstract

Purpose:This study sought to document current refractive services in the northern and central regions of Ghana as a first step toward evidence-based planning of refractive services.Methods:A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out in health facilities in the northern and central regions of Ghana, which provided eye-care services. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to gather information on each facility type, human resources providing refractive services, assessment of refraction and spectacle dispensing output and provider barriers to the services.Results:Current outputs of refraction in the northern and central regions were 0.5 and 1.2 per cent of the estimated refractive needs, respectively. Spectacle dispensing services were below the outputs of refraction. Lack of equipment (36.8 per cent) and cost of providing spectacles frames (31.6 per cent), were identified as the main barriers to providing refractive services.Conclusion:The provision of refractive services in the study regions was inadequate. Lack of infrastructure and inadequate human resource were the major reasons for the limited service provision. This should be considered for planning refractive services in the study regions and Ghana as a whole.

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