If you ask Joana Annobil what it’s like to pursue a degree in ophthalmic nursing, her answer is simple.
“It’s a dream come true,” she smiles.
Growing up, Joana remembers her grandmother going blind but not seeking treatment because blindness was believed to be caused by spirits.
“If they knew about eye services, they wouldn’t have gone blind,” she says.
Now in her final year at the Ophthalmic Nursing School in Korle-Bu, Accra, Joana says she is most excited that her presence in her community will have an impact on the health and quality of life of her neighbours as well as Ghana’s health system.
“Becoming an ophthalmic nurse will help improve the state of human resources for eye health in Ghana, especially in my district of Awutu Senya, where the need for eye health services is very high,” Joana explains. “The people at the community level will have quality eye care services at their doorsteps.”
Joana says that after her schooling she will return to her district and provide eye health care in her own community.
“They are expecting much from me, because in the whole district there is no eye nurse and there is no clinic apart from Watborg Eye Services.”
Her school, Ghana’s only institute of its kind, recently upgraded from providing diplomas to awarding academic degrees, thanks to Operation Eyesight in partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. It’s a step up for Joana and her whole community.
“This will enhance my career in the health service,” Joana adds. “I’m extremely grateful to Operation Eyesight for funding my studies.”
If you like reading stories like Joana’s, make sure you are subscribed to receive our emails so you don’t miss out.