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Gold Coast (Ophthalmological Survey)

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 26 March 1952

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2.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made with the ophthalmological survey of the Gold Coast, Nigeria and the Cameroons; when it is anticipated that preliminary information will be available; and by what date he hopes to report on the steps to be taken.

A preliminary investigation of the incidence of onchocerchiasis in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast has just been completed. It confirms the need for the main survey which will start later this year in the Gold Coast and will take three years. The British Empire Society for the Blind will be responsible for this survey and the hon. Member may like to seek further information from them or to put down another Question at a later date.

I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. Is he not of opinion that, on the whole, there has been a fair amount of delay in the initiation and sending of this vital inquiry, which we certainly understood in this House was to be sent a few months ago?

Preliminary action had to be taken well before the final survey arrangements, but we are getting on with it now.