JIS News

Over 300 persons, including many students, turned out for the first day of the Lions Club/Canadian Vision Care one-week eye clinic, which began in Montego Bay today (November 9), at the Calvary Baptist Church Hall.
The team of optometrists, opticians and physicians, including surgeons, will be in Jamaica for three weeks giving free eye care to thousands of Jamaicans. Clinics were held in Savanna-la-Mar, Mandeville and Porus last week, while this week, clinics are being held in Montego Bay and May Pen.
In an interview with JIS News, head of the visiting team of eye care specialists, Dr. Paul Geneau pointed out that the team has been visiting Jamaica for the past 20 years at the invitation of the Lions Club, giving free eye care to between 10,000 and 12,000 persons per year. He said that emphasis is placed on children and adults over 40 years old.
“We want to see all the school children that we can, because we know that vision is very important to learning. If there is any deficiency of the vision, it can seriously impede a child’s education. So while we do tend to screen the ones that are most in need, we are happy to see all the children that we can,” he said.
“For the adults, we see the ones that have particular needs, quite often the more elderly ones. We know that adults over the age of 40 or 50 start having trouble with reading, and will need reading glasses, and as they get into the older ages then they develop cataracts and glaucoma, and we want to catch those conditions and deal with them before they lose their vision,” Mr. Geneau said.
He explained that although the results from the clinics have not revealed a high incidence of urgent need for eye care among the children, it is important to identify and treat the ones who do need urgent attention.
“On an average day when we see 200 children, we are probably able to find about 50 to 75 that need some significant care,” he added.
Chairman of the Sight Committee of the Lions Club of Montego Bay, Pitamber Tolani, told JIS News that 200 school children and 100 adults would be facilitated at the clinic daily over the next four days. He said that the children are screened at the schools and sent to the clinic.

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