The Department of Optometry and Visual Science together with the Departments of Language and Communication Sciences and Publishing Studies of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has launched two books, “The Singing Tree” and “The Eye Book” at the Allotey Auditorium on 23rd March 2022.
The three Departments collaborated with Orbis International, Ghana, to develop the books and their Twi language adaptations. Orbis is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Orbis produces resources for communities to create awareness about childhood blindness, its prevention and treatment. They also develop resources for the ophthalmic community and service providers to support their work.
Professor Leonard Amekudzi, Provost of the College of Science, in his welcome address revealed that “The Singing Tree” is a book by Kenneth Youngstein which speaks of the problem of visual impairment due to refractive error in children. The “Eye book”, he said, is also intended to be used by physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals who work in ophthalmology, as a tool to facilitate their discussions with patients, parents, family members, or caregivers.
The Pro Vice-chancellor, Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo, lauded the efforts of the various departments whose dedication made the launch possible. In the era of false information dissemination, he also advised the audience to be sceptical about the kind of information they consume and be sure to use the right materials for the right purposes. Hence, the need to patronise the books.
He threw more light on the significance of the books and their convenience in facilitating proper communication in eye care delivery. “These books have come at the right time to help those in medical practice with the use of the appropriate terminologies. The Lingua of medical lexicology is lost to many in this practice and it is important that the right use of terminologies is promoted,” he said.
Mr. Kenneth Youngstein, Director of the Foundation for Health and Mind Development, CEO of Biocom Limited and author of “The Singing Tree”, in his presentations, rehashed the importance of the books and recounted the events that led to the birth of the books. He revealed that the books have received worldwide acceptance and have been translated into many languages around the world. He was elated that there was going to be a Ghanaian version spearheaded by KNUST’s Department of Optometry and Visual Science.
Ms. Veronica Oduro Manu, National Organiser of the Ghana Ophthalmic Nurses Group, expressed optimism that the books would be essential in the Country's eye care administration. "It may be tough to understand we at times when delivering eye care to patients who are not conversant with the English language. Having these books translated into Twi aids the situation and we will use them as a guide," she said.
Project Leader and Head of the Department of Optometry and Visual Science, Dr. Kwadwo Owusu Akuffo, promised that the books would be extensively distributed across the nation to schools, eye clinics and eye care professionals.
Present at the event were Professor Charles Marfo, Provost of College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe, Deputy Registrar (URO); Hon. Abraham Kwame Antwi, Oforikrom Municipal Chief Executive (MCE); DSP/Dr. Remi Ninkpe, President of Ghana Optometric Association (GOA) and Adolf Ollennu, Director of Orbis International Ghana.