6,000 Perak students to receive free eye examination

By Loghun Kumaran
A student undergoes an eye examination at SJK(T) Tanjung Rambutan in Perak February 8, 2018. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Feb 8 — Around 6,000 students in Perak will get free eye examinations thanks to a collaborative project between two local non-governmental organisations and state authorities.

Organised by the Perak Saga Insan Community Welfare Organisation and the Lions Club, the project will reach urban and rural schools around the state over the coming months to identify students with vision problems at an early age.

Perak Saga Insan Community Welfare Organisation chairman K.Nachemutu said the organisers aimed to reach 2,000 students by August by starting with schools around the Tanjung Rambutan area.

“We plan to spread this project throughout the state by working with the local health and education offices in the respective districts, while also enlisting the help of local opticians and NGOs,” he told reporters at the project’s launch at SJK(T) Tanjung Rambutan today.

“The teachers at each school will help us to identify students who may display the signs of having vision problems. We will check their eyes and if necessary, refer them to the health authorities for further action.”

During the launch today, a total of 100 students from SJK(T) Tanjung Rambutan, SJK(C) Tat Choi, SK Methodist Tanjung Rambutan, and SJK(T) Ladang Changkat Kinding received eye examinations.

Present to launch the project was Hulu Kinta assemblyman Datuk Aminuddin Md Hanafiah, who praised the organisers for their efforts to help the state’s students.

“It’s a great initiative because many parents are unaware that their children have developed vision problems.

“Their kids may have problems copying words from the whiteboard, and everyone assumes that it is a learning problem when it is actually vision-related.

“A project like this allows pupils to be screened so their problems can be identified early on before it gets worse,” he said.

Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun eye specialist Datuk Dr Jasvinder Singh, who was also present, said the project would boost the ongoing eye screening efforts that were already being carried out by the health and education authorities.

“This will make our job easier and they can help us in many ways. We notice that awareness is quite high in urban areas, but we need more awareness in rural areas,” he said.

“It’s important for children to get proper vision so it doesn’t affect their education. Some can’t read the notice board in school and the parents think they aren’t studying.”

“Screening will help us identify problems, especially during the early years when the eye is being developed.”