Seeing Eye to Eye

Statistics show that every five seconds, someone in the world goes blind and in every minute this someone is a child. In an effort to address vision problems in young children in the country, Rotary in Malaysia is seeking the partnership of state governments, beginning with Perak, to work on the National Early Intervention Eye Health Framework.
This framework does not focus on any one specific eye condition but seeks to cover the underlying issues that are common to the prevention and treatment of eye disease and vision loss.
Eye conditions are best detected and corrected in children below the age of 7 years. Childhood eye disorders include cataract, Retinopathy of Prematurity, Vitamin A deficiency, lazy eye, myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
All of these could be detected early if the framework is in place. It recommends, among others, that comprehensive paediatric eye exam is scheduled for children every two years, distance visual acuity screening be made compulsory for children under six years old, a module on vision screening be included in the curriculum of pre-school education of teachers and a mandatory one-day workshop on vision screening for trainee teachers prior to graduation.
The framework’s objective is to create awareness in eye health and to educate parents, educators and the society at large to identify and correct vision problems at a young age. It will be a pioneer project for children in Perak. The gist of the framework was presented at the “Seeing Eye to Eye”” Joint Seminar at Syeun Hotel in Ipoh recently.

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