In this guide, we’ll be looking at the list of universities offering optometry in Ghana. We’ll also look at career opportunities for optometry graduates in Ghana as well as the requirements of becoming an optometrist in Ghana.
Optometry is one of the core disciplines in medicine. Optometrists are trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormality and problems with general health.
In Ghana, optometrists study at the university for at least six years and must participate in a compulsory one-year internship. Once accredited to practice, they have the opportunity to take further qualifications and develop their interests in specialised areas of practice.
This alone has made optometry one of the highest paying medical specialties in the world. You’ll find an optometrist in almost every health industry in the country.
What is Optometry?
Optometry is a health care profession that involves examining the eyes and applicable visual systems for defects or abnormalities as well as the correction of refractive error with glasses or contact lenses and treatment of eye diseases.
Optometrists (also known as doctors of optometry) are health care professionals who usually provide primary eye care through comprehensive eye examinations. They diagnose and manage various vision abnormalities including refractive errors as well as various eye diseases.
Being a regulated profession, an optometrist’s scope of practice may differ depending on the location. Optometrists typically work closely together with other eye care professionals such as ophthalmologists (specialists) and opticians to deliver quality and efficient eyecare to the general public.
What Does Optometrist Do?
Optometrists typically do the following:
- Perform vision tests and analyze results
- Diagnose sight problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, and eye diseases, such as glaucoma
- Prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other visual aids, and if state law permits, medications
- Perform minor surgical procedures to correct or treat visual or eye health issues
- Provide treatments such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation
- Provide pre- and postoperative care to patients undergoing eye surgery—for example, examining a patient’s eyes the day after surgery
- Evaluate patients for the presence of other diseases and conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, and refer patients to other healthcare providers as needed
- Promote eye and general health by counselling patients
Some optometrists spend much of their time providing specialized care, particularly if they are working in a group practice with other optometrists or physicians. For example, some optometrists mostly treat patients with only partial sight, a condition known as low vision. Others may focus on treating infants and children.
Optometrists promote eye health and counsel patients on how general health can affect eyesight. For example, they may counsel patients on how quitting smoking or losing weight can reduce vision problem
How to Become an Optometrist in Ghana
To practice as an optometrist in Ghana, you’ll need to secure admission to study optometry at the University either abroad or in Ghana. To study optometry in Ghana, you’ll need to enrol into KNUST or UCC department of optometry.
Interestingly, there are about 200 optometrists in the whole of Ghana. You can dive into this lucrative field of medicine and practice.
At the University, you’ll be required to spend at least six years to study optometry. Thereafter, you’ll proceed to a one-year internship at the ministry of health or an accredited eye clinic.
However, to practice as an optometrist in Ghana, you’ll need to write and pass a professional exam conducted by the Ghana Optometric Association (GOA). Passing this exam gives you the certification to practice in Ghana
Universities Offering Optometry in Ghana
Below is the list of universities offering Optometry in Ghana.
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
- University of Cape Coast