The spectacles were donated by Thebemed Medical Scheme and partners as part of the Eye Care Initiative.
The initiative has been running for several years benefiting primary school learners from the North West and Mpumalanga. “Poor eye conditions are a serious impediment for most school learners. Often eye conditions go unnoticed and poor performance at school is a result thereof,” says Sibongile Mamafha, Principal Executive Officer at Thebemed Medical Scheme. “Through this initiative eye ailments are detected early and prompt treatment is initiated before they become severe eye conditions’.
Thebemed and partners annually identify schools to be visited and with the assistance of optometrists, learners are examined; and those with severe eye conditions receive extensive attention and appropriate treatment is recommended.
Primary school learners from seven schools in Secunda have received spectacles to address an array of eye conditions such as myopia – a condition where a person is short sighted and can’t see from a distance, hypermetropia – Long sightedness , where the image of a nearby object is formed behind the retina. This could be because the eye is too short, or the cornea or crystalline lens does not refract the light enough.
Other conditions include astigmatism – a defect in the eye or in a lens caused by a deviation from spherical curvature, which results in distorted images, as light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus, and amblyopia – also known as lazy eye, is a vision development disorder in which an eye fails to achieve normal visual acuity. Some of the learners needed to be treated for vernal catarrh – an inflammation or redness of the lining of the white part of the eye and the underside of the eyelid. From the 68 learners that were examined, two had cataracts in one eye at least – a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.
The delivery of the spectacles coincides with Save Your Vision Awareness Month (March) whose purpose is to remind everyone of the need for regular, comprehensive eye examinations to detect eye health problems, general health issues, and vision difficulties.
Make sure you have your eyes tested.