Eye-sight screening programme in Odisha schools soon

Berhampur: An eye-sight screening and treatment programme, “Bal Jyoti”, is set to take off for school children in Ganjam district, official sources said on Sunday.

The programme, aimed at providing free treatment facilities to the school children with low vision through holding camps in block level after the primary screening of their eyes at schools, will be undertaken jointly by the Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan (SSA), District Red Cross Society and District Blindness Control Society (DBCS).

The year-long programme, first of its kind in the state, is estimated to cost around Rs 50 lakh, a senior officer said.

A Berhampur-based eye hospital has agreed to provide training to the school teachers to screen the students with low vision, he said.

Recently, around 60 persons, mostly teachers of four out of 22 blocks in the district have been trained for the programme by eye specialists. The children with low vision will be screened at schools for treatment.

District collector Krishan Kumar said a dedicated mobile unit, equipped with sophisticated equipment and eye experts and paramedical staff will hold the camps in different places of the districts to treat the children.

At least five camps will be held in each block, he said. The first camp is scheduled to be held at Chhatrapur on September 24.

Medicines and spectacles will be provided to the children free of cost. The district administration will tie up with MKCG Medical College and Hospital here and LV Prasad Eye Hospital, Bhubaneswar for the further treatment of complicated cases, he said.

Around five lakh students of about 4000 primary schools in the district will be benefited under the programme, said the district project coordinator, district primary education programme Aswin Kumar Mishra.

The children of the privately run schools are also be covered under the programme, he stated. He said the district administration would be provided the charts of alphabets of different sizes to the schools to screen out the students with low vision.