VisionSpring, COCOBOD collaborate to hold free eye screening at Konongo


By Razak Baba

As part of the visit, VisionSpring in collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa Board, is organising multiple free vision screening events in parts of the Ashanti Region. One such event is taking place at Konongo in the Asante Akyem Central Municipality.

The Board of Directors of VisionSpring, an eye care organisation, is in Ghana for the first time to acquaint itself with the country’s eye care landscape, operations of the organisation’s local team, and interact with stakeholders and partners in Ghana’s eye care industry.

The five-day screening at Konongo in the Asante Akyem Central Municipality of the Ashanti Region is targeted at cocoa farmers who are involved in visually intensive tasks. The screening is being organised by VisionSpring, an eye care organisation, in conjunction with Ghana Cocoa Board,  the Cocoa, Coffee, and Sheanut Farmers Association, the Konongo Government Hospital, and supported by the Agogo Presbyterian Eye Hospital.

The Board of Directors of VisionSpring in the company of the Chief Farmer of the Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association, Alhaji Alhassan Bukhari, members of the Association, and some officials of the Ghana Cocoa Board earlier visited some demonstration hand pollination cocoa farms in Konongo to see how hand pollination is conducted and its effects on the eyes of cocoa farmers.

Due to the nature of the hand pollination exercise where one has to transfer pollen from the stamen of one cocoa plat to the pistil of another, it requires persons with good eyes. Most cocoa farmers are aged and suffer from sight defects, which accounts for their inability to perform hand pollination.

The eye screening initiative at Konongo saw cocoa farmers and residents undergo the exercise where reading and pop-in eyes are a flagship product of VisionSpring that is fitted and dispensed on-site. Eye drops were also distributed during the exercise. Glaucoma, a hereditary and irreversible eye blinding condition, cataract and refractive errors dominated the eye conditions among the residents, which were detected by a team of optometrists from the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital, Konongo Government Hospital and a medical team from VisionSpring.

The Chief Executive Officer of VisionSpring, Dr. Ella Gudwin, said her organisation is committed to helping Ghana’s low-income communities get eyeglasses. 

 An optometrist and Head of VisionSpring’s Konongo local team, Dr. Bismark Nyarko Gyedu, said the eye screening exercise had revealed that there were more prevailing cases of glaucoma, cataract, allergies, and refractive errors than expected. 

Some of the beneficiaries commended the organisers of the events for helping them to ratify their eye effects.

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