The burden of living with blurred vision
Shaoping a studious and attentive 13-year old from Lechang, Guandong in China was living with blurred vision for 2 troubled years. His failing vision was adversely affecting his performance at school. However, he was too scared to tell his parents of his condition worried that he might also be sick. "I didn't want to become a burden to my family," lamented Shaoping.
In Lechang, according to recent screening data, only 13% of vision impaired students have received corrective treatment, markedly low compared to children in other Chinese cities such as Guangzhou.
The China Child Health project was initiated by the Brien Holden Vision Institute in cooperation with Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Guangzhou Trading Vocational School and local community hospitals in Lechang.
Supported by Alcon Foundation and Optometry Giving Sight, the project aims to improve the eye health of children in Lechang through eye screenings, provision of free spectacles, and, where necessary, referrals to hospital for children with more severe vision impairment.
"I didn't want to become
a burden to my family"
After being brave enough to tell his parents of his poor vision, Shaoping was fortunate to participate in the project and underwent a refraction procedure. He received free spectacles, which he now happily wears every day. As one of over ten thousand children who has benefited from the China Child Eye Health project, Shaoping is very grateful to Alcon and Optometry Giving Sight.
At this stage 9,720 students have been screened (84% target) and 3,244 were referred for a full eye exam and 1,276 received glasses. The balance will be completed this March 2016. In addition, eye health promotion seminars have been held and flyers have been given to 9,720 students.
“Now I can see the blackboard clearly and I believe I can catch up my grades. My parents don't need to worry about my studies anymore,” said Shaoping.
The China Child Eye Health Project creates accessible vision correction and is working to build a sustainable eye health system as it nears its target outcomes. In this way the project will help tens of thousands of children like Shaoping to attain greater achievements at school and in life.
Photo courtesy: Brien Holden Vision Institute