A TOTAL of 784 pupils from schools in Negri Sembilan will get free spectacles when the new school term starts — thanks to the efforts of Rotary Club International District 3300, District Action Group on Blindness Prevention and Lions Clubs International District 308B1.
The pupils, mainly from the B40 group, were among 17,000 from 53 schools in the state who underwent eye screening over a period of five months under the Sayangi Vision Mata Clinic 2019 (SVC’19) programme.
SVC’19 organising chairman Jesu Dass Muthu said the programme was also held in support of the World Health Organization’s “The Right to Sight” global initiative aimed at eliminating avoidable blindness.
He said early detection of visual impairment among children was crucial to prevent blindness.
Jesu, who is also state Lions Clubs International chairman said before the first stage screening was done, 200 teachers from all 53 schools underwent basic eye testing training on the Snellen Chart to measure the visual acuity of the children.
The training was conducted by optometrists from government hospitals.
“The teachers then shortlisted 1,688 pupils for the second stage screening in Tampin but only 1,105 turned up.
“We also got 48 clinical volunteers from two private universities to assist the optometrist and ophthalmologists at the three-day camp in Tampin, ” he said, adding that the children from all over the state were ferried in chartered buses to a hall in Tampin.
Jesu said apart from the 784 pupils with weak eyesight, the medical teams found that 126 had serious eye problems.
“Neither the children nor their parents knew this before the screening.
“Since we have detected this, the respective sponsoring clubs will follow up and ensure the pupils receive appropriate medical attention from government hospitals and monitor their progress, ” he said.
Jesu also thanked SVC partners namely One Sight Foundation, Luxottica, Essilor and Focus Point for agreeing to sponsor the spectacles.
The Tunku Besar of Tampin Tunku Syed Razman Tunku Syed Idrus Al-Qadri when opening the three-day camp thanked all those involved, including the health and education authorities and volunteers for making the event a success.
Jesu said this year’s SVC was the third after Selangor (2017) and Kedah (2018).
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