World Sight Day by ASCO members across India was celebrated with fervor, joy and devotion to service by optometry colleges in dozens of cities. Joint programs between all the optometry colleges and eye care organizations was a feature this year in Hyderabad and Shillong. Generous use of all the promotional material, implementation packs and ‘suggested activities’ downloadable from IAPB’s website, was made by the colleges. ASCO promoted WSD 2013 through its bi-monthly herald INSIGHT to its member-colleges as well as non-member optometry institutions in India.
In Chennai, with the help of their mother hospital (Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital), Shri Prakash Institute of Optometry planned free screening camps on world sight day
In Coimbatore, Lotus Bausch & Lomb Institute of Optometry observed WSD forming a human chain of 7km in Coimbatore’s main areas to create awareness on preventable blindness and importance of eye donation. They conducted program in a blind school as well. The college distributed a colourful pamphlet for awareness creation, giving their WSD agenda.
In Manipal, the Dept of Optometry, School of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, with its long tradition of meaningful WSD activities decided to enhance awareness on Eye Care and to deliver services to the general public. With ‘Universal Eye Care’ being the theme, 6 posters were designed and developed under the banner: “Sight: Birth to Tomb!”. The exhibition of the posters was inaugurated with the Associate Dean, the Research Chair and the Professor, Dept of Speech and Hearing, after a welcome by Prof Jyothi Thomas, In-Charge, Dept of Optometry. Poster titled “Optometrists’ Role in eye care” was judged the best. Work speaks more than words!
A series of eye camps were held in October in different locations along with the Ophthalmology Dept. 317 geriatric patients were screened. 71 had reduced vision. Reading glasses were given to the needy. Others were referred for cataract surgery. Diabetic eye changes were noted. A unique fortnightly outreach eye clinic was started. This will provide comprehensive eye care services and also house a dispensing unit at the centre which already delivers other health care services thus creating an integrated health service center.
In Bangalore, Sankara College of Optometry & Sankara Eye Hospital of the Sankara Eye Care Institutions (SECI), ran an online campaign to raise awareness on preventive eye care. They solicited blind-folded pictures and a quote on the importance of vision from all
In Hyderabad, a seminar was hosted by University of Hyderabad on ‘Universal Eye Health’ with participation from Students and Faculty of Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry, Sarojini Devi Eye Instt & Pushpagiri Eye Instt. Prof Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice Chancellor, stressed the need for eye screening of students in all educational institutions. The event was supported by Essilor India Pvt Ltd, Akriti and India Vision Institute. A week-long vision screening for students of UoH was started. There was a quiz contest and students also competed in a Poster contest showcasing intuitive and innovative ideas. The event ended with a rocking cultural programme.
The Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry (BLSO) The Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry (BLSO) 3rd year students & faculty conducted awareness and vision screening program for the underprivileged community at Rasoolpura Slum, Hyderabad on The awareness program with the theme of Universal Eye Health, focused on infants, pregnant women and lactating mothers. 114 were screened, 69 being students aged 5 to14 years.
25 needed vision correction with over 60% of them diagnosed with refractive error for the first time. 23 were prescribed spectacles. Over 80% of those screened have simple myopia and myopic astigmatism. 16 children had ocular ailments like anismoretopic cataract, nystagmus, and were referred to LV Prasad Eye Instt (parent organization of BLSO) for further investigation and management. BLSO students are actively involved in community vision screening, 3rdyear BS students participate weekly on rotation mandatorily, gaining practical knowledge on common avoidable causes of visual impairment. BLSO students participated in the joint celebrations organized by Univ of Hyderabad (UoH), winning prizes in 2 events.
In Mumbai, the Laxmi College of Optometry became the reason for smiles, conducting comprehensive eye check-up camps for orphans and special children at Aniket’s Children Home and at Special School for Hearing Handicapped Children with their team of well qualified faculty along with students.
In Kerala, Al Salama School of Optometry (ASCO), Perintalmanna together with Al Salama’s other optometry colleges in Calicut & Kannur, conducted an awareness program & eye camp.
The Lotus College of Optometry conducted week-long activities culminating on WSD: eye check-ups for special focus groups, like, taxi drivers, domestic workers, children from shelter home etc., examined at their vision centers in Mumbai slums. Awareness was generated towards need for eye care services through promotional material like, posters, banners, ribbons, balloons AND through street plays. Students conducted several well appreciated role plays for patients and relatives of Lotus Eye Hospital giving key messages on paediatric eye care, uncorrected refractive errors, cataract, diabetes, glaucoma and cornea donation. Free glaucoma screening camp was organized for parents and close relatives of students.
Alumni of Lotus College enthusiastically participated by displaying posters and encouraging people to undergo comprehensive eye examination. The Faculty trained employees of Standard Chartered Bank to be eye health volunteers in ‘Seeing is Believing’ project
In Panvel, ITM Optometry College conducted school screening eye camp in collaboration with Lions club, Panvel. Nearly 500 students were screened and educated on eye care. An eye care awareness program was conducted at ITM Trust Hospital, Panvel
In Pune, D Y Patil institute of Optometry conducted eye check-upa at the City International School, Kharadi, Pune for 114 preschool to 5th class students.
In Nashik, the College of Optometry & Ophthalmic Sciences organized a free screening camp. Students made two posters, one hand-made and the other, computerized, spreading awareness on Optometry and Importance of eye examination.
The camp was on 12 Oct (Sat) after Puja holidays. The College also ran a 3-day eye screening camp for school children of New Era English School, Nashik. 2 senior optometrists and 15 Optometry students screened 1900 school children. 147 were found having refractive errors and 2 were amblyopic.
The School committee appreciated the professional efforts and decided to host such camps every year. Undetected refractive errors in childhood may lead to behavioral problems and adversely affect performance (academic or sporting).
Even a minor reduction in vision is associated with increased risk of death and physical, social and emotional problems after 50 years of age.
In Navsari, Gujarat, students of Hari Jyot college of Optometry performed vision screening, refraction and distributed spectacles as well to a large number of needy people.
In Kolkata, Vidyasagar College in Collaboration with Essilor conducted eye screening camp for children at ‘SOUJATTYA’, an orphanage home. After refraction, some were referred for further free check-up in Vidyasagar Eye Care Center. The team of 3rd year students was lead by Asst Prof Mrs Moumita Mitra.
In Manesar, Haryana, the Department of Optometry &Vision Science, Amity Medical School, Amity Univ organized a community eye camp at Patauda Village with support from AB Optique Eye Ear & Speech. 20-25 villages participated. 40 Masters & Bachelors students examined about 100 patients, giving advice on eye care and general ocular hygiene. 25 patients were referred for cataract surgery
In Kota, Rajasthan, Kota Optics observed WSD for the entire week from 3rd Oct to 10th Oct, WSD. Manish Kr Khanna, Proprietor, Kota Optics who is also ASCO REP for Rajasthan, gave free consultation and donated 55 spectacles to the needy who came to his clinic.
In Chitkara, B.Optom students did 5 different radio programs (on the Chitkara FM Channel) intended to create awareness on
What is optometry & its scope
Common eye problems & their impact
Eye facts for the youth
WSD activities 2013.
On 9th Oct, students organised a free eye check-up camp in the community hall in village Jhansla, Punjab with great support from the Sarpanch Sr Gulzar Singh & various other locals without whom this would not been such a successful camp. It was in collaboration with the VISION SPRING team. Over 100 persons, aged 5 to 85, were screened. 5 to 7 patients were detected with mature cataract & 70% of attendees required refractive error correction. Many were detected with Pterygium.
On Oct 10 students organised a free eye camp in collaboration with Centre for Sight & NSS in Chitkara Univ, primarily for the transport & security staff. However several students & Faculty availed of the opportunity. About 150 people were screened in this camp that was appreciated by all. The same day students organised poster making & quiz contests.
L V Prasad Eye Institute
LVPEI’s Hyderabad Outreach Urban Slums Eye Care (HOUSE) Program organized a Seminar on Students role in elimination of avoidable blindness’ at Megha Institute of Engineering And Technology For Women, Edulabad, Ghatkesar, R.R District. This institute has been dedicated to “Blindness Prevention” in association with L V Prasad Eye Institute.
Kuchakulla Ramachandra Reddy Eye Centre, Thoodukurthy commemorated World Sight Day 2013 by organizing a Rally with auto rickshaws at Nagarkurnool. A Community Eye Screening Program was conducted at Ramantapuram, Kottakota mandal, Mahabubnagar. In this program, totally 90 people were screened in which 35 were prescribed spectacles and 24 were refreed to base hospital for medical treatment and cataract surgery.
Siloam Eye Hospital, Madanapally conducted three eye health awareness programs in three locations. At Siloam Eye Centre, the Vision Technicians Mr. Nagesh and Mr. Narasimhulu gave health talks to around 45 audience and invitees. At B Kothakota Vision Centre, Vision Technician Ms. Shabana conducted the awarenss meeting for the general public and about 30 people participated in the program. At Nimmanapalle Vision Centre Ms. Shireen Taj, Vision Technician organized an Eye Health Awareness meeting in which about 25 people participated.
LVPEI’s CLIP Project at Jainath, Adilabad conducted World Sight Day Awareness Program on 11 October 2013 in the Grampanchayat office at Kouta village. In this meeting, Village surpanch Mr. Vijay Kumar, Ward members, Vision committee members, Anganwadi teacher, Clip Staff members and the local citizens participated. Mr. Sanjeev Kumar, Coordinator of CLIP explain about the importance of World Sight Day and the community’s need for participation towards elimination of avoidable blindness in the village. This program derived excellent cooperation from the participants.
Bhosle Gopal Rao Patel Eye Centre celebrated World Sight Say in Gannora village, Mudhole Mandal by organizing an awareness programme for the local community members. In this programme free spectacles were distributed which were supported by TOMS and Sight First Lions International Program.
Swarna Bharat Eye Centre, Nellore organized a Community Screening Program at Tanayali Village in Doravaristram Mandal on 10 October 2013. This program screened 107 members in which 61 people were prescribed spectacles and 41 were referred to base hospital for cataract surgery. Mr. Manoj Kumar Reddy, Head of this Village donated Rs. 12, 500/- towards free distribution of spectacles.
The Markapur Village Vision Complex commemorated World Sight Day 2013 by organising a Community Awareness Program and a Community Screening Program in Vellampally Village, Tripuranthagam Mandal, Community Screening and Awareness Program in which 150 community members participated. This program screened 110 persons in which 35 were identified with cataract and referred to the centre for clinical management and surgery and 32 were prescribed spectacles.
The Paloncha Village Vision Complex commemorated World Sight Day 2013 in 7 of its Vision Centres screening more 1000 people to mark WSD.
A free eye check-up camp to mark the World Sight Day celebration was jointly organised by Aravind Eye Hospital and Madurai district administration in Madurai on Thursday. The day is observed on second Thursday of October every year to create awareness on early detection of eye problems, and to receive appropriate treatment. Government higher officials including district collector L Subramanian, district revenue officer, revenue divisional officer and tahsildars took part in the programme and got their eyes tested. The doctors, who took part in the program, created awareness on the importance of eyesight to the public. More than 300 people participated in the eye camp, and tested their eyes. Dr Krishnadas, head of human resources; Dr Kim, chief medical officer; and S G Ramanathan of Aravind Eye Hospital organised the camp.
National Ophthalmic Associate Association (NAAO) and Voice trust jointly organized an Eye Care Awareness Signature Campaign at Anna Bus stand, near Collector office and the Government Rajaji Hospital of Madurai, Madurai district. Students from MVAMM School also participated in the campaign. The District collector interacted with students and released health education material on the occasion.
Ophthalmic assistants of Madurai district participated in the campaign and explained about basic eye care to the public before inviting them to sign. Health education information was also displayed at the venue. So far the association has collected 10 lakh sign from public in various places.
The NAAO and Aakam trust also conducted an audio-visual quiz competition for school children at the Creative Matriculation high School, Puliyur Ramanathapuram district, Tamilnadu. 8 teams – with eye-related names, like the Cornea team – were formed and Mr Veerasamy, Senior Ophthalmic Assistant, conducted the quiz. Children as well as teachers enjoyed the programme a lot. As part of the programme, they learned about basic eye care and preventable blindness. Mr. N. Sankar of Aakam trust distributed the prizes to the students.
Helen Keller International and the Seeing is Believing Program Surabaya (East Java Province, Indonesia), celebrated World Sight Day 2013 at a primary health center in Sidoarjo District. Together with local partners and 25 volunteers from Standard Chartered Bank – Surabaya, Indonesia, 116 children were screened and 30 eyeglasses distributed. The event included education for parents, free consultation and screening for community. Sally Crook (SiB - IAPB) and Stefan Chojnicki (SiB – SCB) also attended with the representatives of SCB Indonesia, HKI and the local government.
World Sight Day 2013 was celebrated by the John Fawcett Foundation / Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia a day early, timed with the Immanuel Primary School visit, a wonderful and enthusiastic group of students, parents and teachers.
The group spent three days in the field with our screening and mobile eye health care clinic team in Bali, watched cataract surgeries inside the mobile eye clinic theatre and visited with JFF/YKI scholarship students and their families in the village of Keramas, part of a planned Immanuel Primary School fundraising initiative for the John Fawcett Foundation.
Immanuel Primary School has been a strong supporter of the JFF/YKI and the Bali Eye project. One of the major ways the community raises funds is through its small change tins. At the beginning of the school year, each family is given a ‘tin’ to take home and place somewhere to collect small change. Some families have businesses that place these tins in their retail shops; others simply put it in a place in their home where small change can be collected. These ‘tins’ also prompted families and students to be creative in looking for ways to fill them up. Some of these included car boot or garage sales and pizza parties. In 2012, Immanuel Primary School raised $10,000 through this process. One of the extra benefits of having these tins in the school community is raising awareness of the work the JFF/ YKI does in Bali. Many people in the extended school community hear about the work of the Foundation when they see the tin and the sticker attached to it.
In Sri Lanka, “Get Your Eyes Tested”, echoed across the country with community vision screening programs in both Colombo and the Kegalle District organised by the Brien Holden Vision Institute.