Chirano Gold Mines Limited (CGML) has partnered with the NGO Sefwi Health Initiative (SHI) to offer free eye screening for students at local schools in the Bibani and Wiawso districts.
Over a two-day period, 600 students and 50 teachers had their vision checked for impairments in order to reduce the risk of vision disorders in the communities. Some members of the community had never visited an optician for an eye exam.
“Early detection and treatment of vision impairments are critical – apart from affecting student’s studies, impairments can also lead to vision loss,” said Dr. Alex Nana Djan, co-founder of SHI and Occupational Hygiene at Chirano Gold Mines. “Visual functioning is a strong predictor of students’ academic performance in school-age children and vision disorders in childhood could affect the long-term well-being of the individual.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 45% of 1.4 million blind children had preventable or avoidable impairments that had been left untreated.
The partnership between CGML and SHI hopes to identify cases of impairment in communities lacking healthcare resources, and treat them before they become severe.
An optometrist performs an eye exam on a student in Chirano