Eye Care Vital for Students

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By Lucy Kopana – EMTV News, Port Moresby

More students are likely to suffer from blurred vision, with the excessive use of mobile phones, laptops and television, according to Lae International Hospitals (LIH) Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Balachandra Keni.

Because of this, the hospital has started free screening and awareness for students in Lae, starting with Busu Secondary School for three days.

LIH Optometrist Kevin Lenex, stated that most of the students they have screened have refractive errors or blurred vision. This may either be inherited or introduced. Mr Lenex explained that the type of refractive errors referred to maybe short-sightedness, long-sightedness, or a combination of both.

Whilst not all students participated, about forty of the fifty students screened were identified to have eye problems.

The awareness and free eye checks that have been conducted are part of the LIH corporate and social responsibility. Dr Keni said Busu Secondary School is the first school they have visited and hopes to extend the program to other schools as well.

“We are trying to give awareness by checking their eyesight and bringing out any other complication. Most of the time, the children won’t know.”

According to school Principal, George Nobel, it is the first time eye checks have been conducted at the school. He said not many students and their parents can be able to afford eye checks, thanking LIH for their efforts in assisting the school with the free eye screening.

“We have identified problems of eyesight. It is a major issue in our school. What we usually do is arranging the chair and table closer to the black board so that they can see a little more clearly.”

Samba Lames, is a teacher who has also gone through an eye operation. He said this is an important service that allows students to know if they have eye problems.

A representative from LIH said however, there needs to be support from other corporate agencies, including the provincial government to roll out the program to other schools in the district.