Pupils of Ga D/A Primary and Kindergarten school in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region were full of excitement when Bliss Eye Care took its free eye screening and treatment services to the school.
The exercise formed part of the implementation of the ‘Blissful Sight for Kids’ Project which is aimed at early identification and treatment of any visual problems confronting the pupils before they become adults.
Dr Zakarea Alhassan Balure, Manager of Bliss Eye Care, a private eye clinic based in Wa said a child with eye defect was often difficult to train at school, hence the essence of the screening to help correct their problems before they could completely damage the eyes of victims by the time they become adults.
He said the screening which started in 2016 with the aim of covering school pupils across all 11 districts of the region had already benefited pupils in three districts, namely; Jirapa, Nadowli-Kaleo and Wa West Districts.
Dr Balure who is an Optometrist thanked Vision 2020 of Switzerland for sponsoring the project, saying through the project many pupils with poor eye sight got their problems completely solved while others had improved – a situation which was helping them improve their performance in school.
Dr Peter Roost, an Optometric and Optical Consultant for Vision 2020 noted that 70 percent of information received by the human being came through the eye, saying children who were the future leaders needed good eye sight to have access to information that could help them build their lives.
Dr Roost a former President of the World Council for Optometry (WCO) noted that the Council knew a lot about America, Europe and Asia but not Africa.
He said when he took over as President of the WCO at the time, he went on a tour of Africa and fell in love with Ghana because of the hospitable nature of its people coupled with its political stability, hence the interest in sponsoring such projects in Ghana.
“A day like this, where you see children happily participating in screening and receiving treatment for conditions that could cause serious visual problems or total blindness in the future excites me a lot and I know we are getting value for money”, he said.
Mr Simon Peter, Regional Coordinator, School Health Education Programme (SHEP) noted that poor vision contributed significantly to poor performance in school and also led to school dropout sometimes.
He said pupil with poor vision sometimes receive punishment from their teachers due to ignorance of the teacher about the child’s condition, adding that school eye screening could therefore help in raising standards in education.
“There is evidence that pupils who benefited from the screening are happy and are performing well in school”, he said and wished other people could come in to support Bliss Eye Care to do more.
Madam Hawawu Daari, Head Teacher of Ga D/A Primary School thanked Bliss Eye Care and Vision 2020 for the gesture, adding that it would help boost the pupils’ confidence in coming to school to learn.
After the screening, free medications and spectacles were offered to correct various conditions such as trachoma, allergy conditions, refractive errors cataract and bulging eyes among others.