KATHMANDU, Oct 13: The Rotaract Club of Kathmandu Mid-town, under its flagship project, has been working to preserve the right of sight of Nepalis for the past 15 years. On June 20, the young team of Rotaractors ambitiously set out to conduct vision-screening programs for 10,000 students of Nepal within three months. Their target was met on October 10.
Campaigning in 38 different schools of Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Kavre and Tanahu districts, the Rotaractors have successfully screened the sight of 10,004 children. With the completion of their ‘Mega Vision Screening Program’, the Club also celebrated the World Sight Day 2012 on October 11.
“About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide and 80% of this visual impairment is avoidable,” Saugat Gautam, Vice-President of The Rotaract Club of Kathmandu Mid-town and coordinator of the program, quotes a report published by International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the World Health Organization (WHO) under their Vision 2020 campaign.
“Vision 2020 aims to eliminate avoidable blindness, all over the world, by 2020 and we are also doing our part to support the initiative,” informs Gautam.
Photo Courtesy: Rotaract Club of Kathmandu Mid-town
A Rotaract campaigner conducts a vision screening test on a student as a part of Rotaract Club of Kathmandu Mid-town’s Mega Vision Screening Program.
From the Mega Vision Screening program, it was found that a total of 1017 students required medical assistance for their eye-sight out of which 20% need to wear spectacles. The campaign not only benefited school children, but also helped the young volunteers or campaigners to be associated and acquainted with social service projects. The young campaigners were oriented and trained to carry out the screenings by ophthalmologist Dr Chandra Lekha Tuladhar.
Dipak Upreti, 21, is a Rotaractor who has been involved with this program from its inception.
“During our school visits we got to interact with many teachers and students. Some of the students we screened couldn’t see properly through one or both their eyes and yet were without spectacles,” shares Upreti. The lack of awareness about the problem amongst teachers and guardians was causing visual impairment in these students. “The weak eye-sight hinders students to perform well academically too,” he adds.
“We were able to spread awareness about visual impairment and inject the need for eye-checkups amongst students to their guardians and teachers,” Gautam says. The Program will also be working to provide medical assistance to the 300 government school students who were found to have some defects with their eye-sight.