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Title: Ocular conditions among women involved in palm kernel oil processing in the Cape Coast Metropolis, Ghana
Authors: Tanle, Augustine
Ilechie, A.A
Awusabo-Asare, Kofi
Ovenseri, G.O
Anderson, M
Keywords: Women
Occupational hazards
Palm kernel oil processing
Ocular condition
Cape Coast
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: University of Cape Coast
Abstract: Background: While pro-poor economic activities have provided employment to poor and vulnerable groups in a number of African countries, some of the activities expose those involved to occupational hazards but these hazards are rarely discussed. One of such activities is oil palm kernel processing with its associated exposure to heat with consequences for ocular health. The paper explores the implications of oil palm kernel processing for the ocular health of the women involved in the industry in the Cape Coast Metropolis in the Central Region of Ghana. Methods: The study involved a survey, in-depth interviews and a Standard ophthalmic examination was carried out on 100 women aged 13 years and above some of whom had been in palm kernel oil processing for ten years or more. The participants were those who were available and willing to participate in the research. Results: The most commonly reported ocular complaints were itching (20.0%), red and painful eyes (13.0%) and blurred vision at distance (13.0 %). Among the ocular diseases identified were chronic conjunctivitis (21.0%), pterygium (11.0%) and cataract (8.0%). The prevalence of suspected glaucoma (C/D > 0.5) was about 3% while the prevalence of visual impairment (VA!6/18 in the better eye) was 24%. Only 22% of the impairment observed could be attributed to hazards associated with the job. Conclusions: The processes involved in the palm kernel oil business predispose women to risk of eye diseases. Provision of eye and vision care services at regular intervals could reduce the magnitude and severity of ocular problems associated with this industry
Description: 40p.
Appears in Collections:Department of Population & Health

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