20 May 2011
By Apporva & Taarika
The National Association for the Blind (NAB) has launched a programme to provide free eye check«up to schoolchildren. to ensure that poor vision does not stand In the way of academic performance of students. NAB has a mobile eye care unit. an ambulance that can travel from school to school. checking students and referring those who need more specialised or longerterm treatment to hospitals. The aim is to reach out to schoolchildren across the state, no matter how remote the location.
NAB estimates that nearly 25% of schoolchildren suffer from problems related to vision. This could seriously impact the learning of schoolchildren. although the cause of poor performance is rarely mentioned in reports about educational achievement in the state's schools. It is also estimated that nearly of all teenagers suffer eye disorders. Many of these go undetected.
The NAB van is equipped with modern equipment to test eyesight. it will stop at different schools, and children will get their sight tested. II cases of students having problems that require more specialised care are found. referral services to hospitals associated with NAB. such as Shankar Netralaya and Sree Netralaya Viswa Vidyalaya. will be of fered. Students could get themselves treated at these hospitals free of cost.
" The NAB intervention could diagnose any problem before the problem is compounded by neglect. NAB also said that many children were reluctant to admit that they face problems with their eyes. Vision deteriorates over time, and the pace of the deterioration could be checked if timely intervention is made. and eyesight is routinely checked.