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Delivering Sight to Remote Australia

More than 400 school children in remote  Australia have received free eye tests and, for  those who required them, prescription glasses  thanks to the OneSight Foundation.  An...
June 29, 2011 12:00 pm

Delivering Sight to Remote Australia

More than 400 school children in remote Australia have received free eye tests and, for those who required them, prescription glasses thanks to the OneSight Foundation.

An initiative of Luxottica, the much needed eye screening and testing clinics were attended in March by 300 Palm Island children from St Michael’s Primary School and Bwcolgman High School. Six volunteer optometrists screened the vision of 120 children from kindergarten to year 12 in Meekatharra, in the remote north west of Western Australia, over two days in mid May.

Those who needed glasses initially chose a set of frames from the ready-made available selection. A few weeks later they received their custom-made glasses.

Steven Lacklison, team leader at the Meekatharra Clinic, said many of the children screened do not have access to basic eye health services. “The closest regional town is a five hour drive away, and the vast majority of the school children have never had an eye test in their lives. The children were extremely keen to participate in the clinic, and it was great to see them having so much fun.”

Those who needed glasses initially chose a set of frames from the ready-made available selection. A few weeks later they received their custom-made glasses

Luxottica’s first indigenous optometry graduate, Shannon Peckham, who attended the Palm Island clinic said the projects are incredibly rewarding.

“Poor vision impedes a child’s ability to learn in school and robs an adult of independence, mobility and quality of life. The most common cause of visual impairment is uncorrected refractive error such as shortsightedness, long-sightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism, which all can be fixed simply by providing eye testing and prescription glasses,” explained Ms Peckham.