Former Information Minister Dr. Laurence K. Bropleh calls on the Government of Liberia to intensively train ophthalmic practitioners to enable them deliver the very best healthcare services to the public.
Speaking recently at program marking the World Sight Day, he notes that impact of blindness on quality of life is particularly alarming for people living in poverty.
According to Dr. Bropleh, impoverish people are more likely to become blind of access to health services and also tend to be more susceptible to eyes infection and disease as well as lack awareness about eyes health.
He notes that blindness significantly affects community members because it restricts mobility as approximately 75 percent of visually impaired people require assistance with everyday task. Dr. Bropleh continues that consequently, blindness affects the community on a practical level as children cannot attend school when they become caretakers for blind parents or adults.
Speaking on the Theme, “Eye Care Everywhere” with the slogan increasing Access to Quality Eye Care, the former MICAT boss laments that countless children are denied opportunity to receive formal education and perhaps escape the poverty cycle.
“Often when a sighted adult becomes the caretaker for a blind individual, he or she must stop working, and this leads to long-term economic and education repercussion that extends beyond the blind individual”, Dr. Bropleh underscores.
He underscores the need for government officials to begin to offer employment to qualified visually impaired or blind people which should then be followed by the private sector.“Our educational system must welcome visually impaired [people] by creating a practical and conducive environment for learning, including making buildings friendly by creating ramps and nails.”
Bropleh said as a victim, and now survivor, for medical malpractices that left his left eye blind, he was making a passionate plea to the Liberian government and its partners through the Ministry of Health to provide adequate funding and related support to the National Eye Health program.
He notes when he travels across the country and impact with the population, especially when in almost all of the 15 counties there are no eye clinics, Ophthalmic nurse and or Ophthalmologist, adding that he was of the opinion that eye disorders and other sight impediments must become a national emergency.
–Editing by Jonathan Browne