A two-million dollar Indian specialist eye hospital equipped with modern facilities to provide complete eye care to patients has been inaugurated at Tesano in Accra.
Mr Segbefia said the hospital at Tesano would help curb the eye problems facing residents of Accra and its environs.
He stated that there were currently about 90 ophthalmologists serving the whole country and expressed concern over the low number of eye specialists in the three northern regions.
It is for that reason that he lauded the management of the hospital for its plans to establish eye care centres in the regions to bring treatment to the doorstep of the people.
There are currently 67 of such hospitals in 14 countries and the Accra facility is the 16th in Africa.
The hospital boasts spacious Out-Patient Department (OPD) supported with modern diagnostic, investigation and latest treatment equipment to assist evidence-based care in cataract, cornea, retina, glaucoma and other conditions.
The health minister was of the view that the new hospital would bridge the accessibility gap and also make the country an eye care hub in West Africa.
Quoting the 2013 Eye Health Systems Assessment Ghana Country Report, Mr Segbefia said one per cent of the Ghanaian population was estimated to be blind and three per cent visually impaired.
He identified cataract as the leading cause of blindness, followed by glaucoma, while acute eye conditions were listed among the top 10 OPD morbidity.
He expressed the government’s commitment to develop the health sector and mentioned the recent nationwide health institution retooling exercise and the modernisation of hospitals in the country as some of the initiatives.
The Chairman of Dr Agarwal’s Group of Hospitals, Professor Amar Agarwal, stated that “our aim is to provide world-class eye care services to Ghana.”
He asked Ghanaians to save money by seeking treatment at the hospital instead of travelling to other countries for eye treatment.
Professor Agarwal added that the hospital would be converted into a medical tourism facility, as well as a training centre to serve the entire West African sub-region.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, he announced that the hospital would provide free cataract surgery for 100 people annually and asked the Ministry of Health to screen and come up with people in need of the surgery.