On behalf of all of us at Operation Eyesight, our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2016!
As I’m sure you know, good eyesight is important for living a happy and healthy life. It’s especially important for young students, as about 80 percent of learning is visual. But sadly, not all children enjoy the gift of sight.
In India alone, it’s estimated that at least 300,000 children have severe visual impairment. Only five percent of blind boys and 2.5 percent of blind girls go to school, and the majority of these children end up quitting their studies at an early stage, losing their chances for future opportunity.
Over one-third of childhood blindness is due to refractive error, or the need for eyeglasses. These children are living with low vision unnecessarily. They don’t get to learn in school or play with their friends. Yet all they need is a simple but life-changing pair of prescription eyeglasses.
Our partner St. Gregorios Balagram Eye Hospital is working diligently to eliminate avoidable childhood blindness in Yacharam, India. The hospital recently started a school eye screening program, thanks to the support of Operation Eyesight’s generous donors. This screening program is being conducted as part of a larger Hospital Based Community Eye Health Project, which we’ve implemented in collaboration with the hospital.
Last summer, we conducted a school screening program in 10 schools, where 20 teachers received training on how to identify eye problems in their students and 922 children were screened for vision problems. As a result, 20 students were referred to the hospital for further treatment and 17 students were given a pair of new, custom-fitted prescription eyeglasses.
Thanks to Operation Eyesight’s donors, these children can now see to read their textbooks or take notes from the chalkboard. They can continue their studies and do all the little things children should be able to enjoy. Thank you for helping us ensure kids stay in school and continue to learn!
You can help us screen more children for vision problems. Click here to “adopt a community” and support our school eye screening programs in India and Africa. This is a great gift option for a family or group of coworkers looking to make a larger contribution. Thank you for your support, and happy new year!