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World Sight Day is observed on 9 October, and this year, the South African Optometric Association (SAOA) and Medscheme decided to give their assistance to disadvantaged children from Diepsloot who may not have previously had the opportunity to have an eye test.
Eye SpyPatrick Mawila, vice-president of the association said many people think that if they have no visual symptoms, there is no need to have their eyes examined routinely. However, an eye examination does not only pick up visual problems, but during the examination many early signs of potential diseases can be detected and treated before they cause serious problems.

On the day, 90 Diepsloot school pupils were bussed to a Chartwell party venue where they were all screened for eye problems by volunteer optometrists.

Mawila said if problems were detected during the eye tests the children would be referred to local optometrists who would dispense spectacles to them free of charge on behalf of the association and Medscheme.

He said the disadvantage of poor eyesight is that children don’t interpret the world the way it’s meant to be interpreted. He said it affects children socially, as they may have low self esteem and depression as a result of not being able to see fully.

“We want to make sure that we have a growing society by giving every individual the power of sight,” Mawila said.


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