Kids, seniors to get free eye care

The content originally appeared on: The BVI Beacon

Virgin Islands youths and seniors will have access to free vision screening and eyeglasses this month through a project spearheaded by the Lions Club of Tortola.

For the project’s first phase, club members recently pre-screened more than 2,000 students in public and private primary and secondary schools on Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada.

Of those, about 1,000 have been referred to the second phase of the project, which will include further screening by a team of 16 optometrists and assistants from the Nebraska-headquartered non-profit organisation Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity International.

“Statistics have shown poor vision to be one of the top five reasons for underachievement in young children, and the results of our phase-one screenings have highlighted the challenges faced by children in our territory,” said project co-chairperson Linda Cills.

The second-phase screenings are scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily on April 22-26 at the Multi-purpose Sports Complex in Road Town.

Students and seniors requiring prescription glasses will receive them, along with a free pair of sunglasses courtesy of VOSH International, the club announced.

Additionally, anyone requiring surgery or other medical intervention will be referred to an ophthalmologist.

Consent form

Although the services will be free, a signed consent form from each student’s parent or guardian is required. Completed consent forms should be submitted to the students’ schools or to the Lions Club of Tortola.

Other project partners include the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports; the Unite BVI Foundation; and the BVI Recreation Trust, according to Lions President Daphodil Sampson.

VOSH International, which has close ties with Lions International, has contributed to similar projects around the world.

All visiting optometrists have received the necessary clearance and certification from the BVI Allied Health Professional Council in compliance with government requirements to practise in the territory, according to the Lions.

The team has the capacity to screen about 2,500 people over the course of the week, and all the necessary glasses and sunshades are in stock, the club stated.

For more information, call the club by phone or WhatsApp at 343-6950 or 541-0395 or email [email protected].