MEC Visits Red Cross Children for Eye Care Awareness Week | Western Cape Government


MEC Visits Red Cross Children for Eye Care Awareness Week

30 November 2004
The Western Cape MEC for Health, Minister Pierre Uys visited the Red Cross Children's Hospital on World Sight Day, Thursday 14 October.

World Sight Day falls within National Eye Care Awareness Week, 11 - 15 October. The South African Optometric Association, via its members, will be offering eye care and spectacles to 60 indigent children on this day.

The gift of sight is one of the most precious things we can give and the Association feels privileged to be able to assist the Red Cross Children's Hospital.

Says Mr. Harry Rosen, CEO of the Optometric Association: "Vision has a direct effect on quality of life, productivity and school performance. The contribution of South African optometry to this worthy cause cannot be underestimated. Many people think that if they have no visual symptoms, there is no need to have their eyes examined routinely. But children especially do not know how well they see."

That is why the theme for Eye Care Awareness Week 2004 is EYE CARE. During this week, optometrists across the country will be doing free vision screenings (not to be confused with an eye examination) for the following:

  • Refractive Error
  • Macular and retinal degeneration
  • Cataract
  • Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Childhood blindness

Serious eye conditions can be treated with success if they are identified and treated in the early stages. Because some of these are painless, patients might not be aware of the condition until it is well advanced. Optometrists are trained to identify these conditions and will refer patients to an eye specialist. Early intervention can often prevent permanent blindness.

Visit your nearest SAOA optometrist during Eye Care Awareness Week for a free vision screening. This screening is not a full eye examination, but could indicate whether you have a refractive error and therefore require a full eye examination.

You can contact the SA Optometric Association at (011) 805-4517 for your nearest SAOA optometrist.

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