Essar Foundation and the district administration in Malkangiri, Odisha, recently organised an ophthalmic care drive for school children. Spanning all 7 blocks, and 1,400 schools in the district, the initiative reached out to 122,884 school students.
In the first phase of the screening, school teachers were trained to conduct primary level eye screening tests in their respective schools. Each day 11,000 to 25,000 students were screened for vision issues, refractive errors and minor complaints. In the second phase, close to 5000 students were diagnosed with vision issues, and then referred for further ophthalmic diagnosis and tests.
The week long drive involved the school teachers in the area, officials from Education and Health departments as well as the Essar Foundation team. The mobile ophthalmic care unit reached even the most remotely located schools. Doctors, medical assistants, and volunteers successfully managed the camps.
1,300 students received power spectacles and low vision aids, free of cost. The aid will significantly improve the childrens’ ability to read and concentrate. The students who were referred for surgery will receive free treatment at one of the best eye hospitals in the State.
The District Collector, has formally expressed his gratitude to Essar Foundation for the support given to this crucial initiative. This is the first such comprehensive eye care drive in the district at this scale.