Availability of low vision services and barriers to their provision and uptake in Ghana: practitioners’ perspectives
Background: Provision and uptake of low vision services are essential.
Objective: To assess the availability of low vision services and barriers to their provision and uptake in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana from the perspective of eye care practitioners.
Methods: A descriptive, quantitative, cross-sectional study design using semi-structured questionnaires was used to collect information from eye care practitioners selected from 58 eye care facilities in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana.
Results: Forty-four eye care practitioners from Ashanti region and 10 from Brong Ahafo region responded to the question- naire. Seventeen (34%) of the 50 eye care facilities who reported having patients seeking low vision services in their facilities provided such services. Lack of low vision devices (94.4%) and equipment (87%) were reported to be the main barriers to the provision of low vision services. Major barriers to low vision services uptake were lack of awareness (88.7%), high cost (70.4%) and social unacceptability of low vision assistive devices (59.3%).
Conclusion: Lack of adequate low vision services and barriers to their provision and uptake impact negatively on efforts to prevent visual impairment and blindness in Ghana.
Keywords: Low vision services; provision; barriers.
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