Over one thousand people, mostly cocoa farmers from twenty-one communities in areas bordering Chirano Gold Mines Limited’s operations in the Bibiani-Anwiaso District of the Western Region have received free eye-screening.

The move is spearheaded by the mining firm and a local eye centre Third Eye Care and Vision Centre to relieve the locals off eye-related diseases.

Health officials have been complaining of the prevalence of cataract, Uveitis and other eye diseases.

An optometrist with the Third Eye Care and Vision Centre, Dr Daniel Adu Agyemang, observed that many of those who underwent the screening tested positive to various eye diseases and said that presented a serious public health concern that needed immediate attention.

As part of the eye-screening exercise, Chirano Gold Mine officials also donated free spectacles and eye drops to correct the defect and enhance their sight.

Human Resource Manager and community relations manager of the mining company, Thomas Nyarko Danquah, said the wellbeing of the local people is important to them because the provision of quality health care benefits the mine directly.

Thomas Nyarko-Danquah

Photo: Thomas Nyarko Danquah said a significant number of the Chirano Mines workforce comes from the selected communities for the screening, hence the need to prioritise their wellbeing.

The screening, which forms part of the mine’s corporate social responsibility, was parts of Valentine’s Day activities to show love to residents in these communities that have become pivotal in the company’s growth.

The screening, which targeted the young and elderly who have eye problems, was set up at two centres; the Paboase and Chirano Health centres, to guarantee that everyone could be attended to.

One of the beneficiary farmers, 70-year-old Yaw Manu recounted how his eye problem has affected his farming which is the only source of livelihood.

He said the gesture was timely.