Honors College Thesis

 

Mothers and Caretakers’ Perception of Childhood Eye Care In the Ashanti Region of Ghana Public

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  • According to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 1.4 million blind children in the world, of whom approximately 300,000 live in Africa. About one-half of these cases of childhood blindness could have been prevented. Each year, an estimated half a million children become blind (nearly one per minute), of whom up to 60% die in childhood. In addition, the country of Ghana has one of the highest prevalence of glaucoma in the world, with 8.5% of Ghanaians being affected by this disease. This country has only basic healthcare services, along with an extensive history of traditional medicine and village healers. The objective of this study was to explore the caretakers’ point of view of childhood eye care, in terms of knowledge, reaction and trust in modern medicine, in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The method of investigation was a cross-sectional examination of a rural sample by conducting 152 interviews, consisting of male and female caretakers of various ages. Each interview consisted of a 10-question survey and 10-question poverty scorecard. Findings indicate a greater trust or belief in modern medical practices than previously believed in this region. Also found was a low level of previous exam history, high prevalence of eye problems and a need for increased parental education in relation to childhood eye care.
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