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Updated: July 8, 2013 10:20 IST

Spectacles for Coimbatore school students

R. Sairam
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Students with weak eyesight identified during screening campaigns

The Department of Public Health has begun issuing the spectacles to the Government school students who were diagnosed with refractive errors in the eyes during screening campaigns held in the last academic year

The spectacles were being given free of cost under the Chief Minister’s Kannoli Kappom Thittam.

The scheme began last year when students of Class VI and VII were screened, Deputy Director of Public Health R. Damodaran told The Hindu here on Sunday.

Further, he said that a rescreening campaign would be taken up in this week to identify children who were left out last year. Simultaneously, the screening campaign for the current year would also be conducted.

The teachers in all the Government schools have been trained and provided kits to identify children with vision impairment. After a preliminary screening by the teachers, an ophthalmologist would examine the students.

Apart from providing spectacles, he said that other visual impairments were also attended to in this scheme.

Of the total 11,429 students screened last year, 1,850 were diagnosed with Vitamin A deficiency.

These students would be administered Vitamin A drops by the Village Health Nurses.

The screening campaign was conducted in all the 234 Government middle schools, 82 high schools and 107 higher secondary schools in Coimbatore district.

Every academic year, Children at the age of around 10 and 11 years were the target group as this was the time when ophthalmologists could identify whether a child has any defect in the eyes or not.

The uncorrected refractive errors lead to visual impairment thereby making a child weak in studies, with poor performance, less productivity and impaired quality of life.

This was mainly a preventive campaign, he added.

Dr. Damodaran said that the spectacles were supplied by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation.

This screening programme would also be used for IEC (information, education and communication) campaign.

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