“Vision Care primary eye screening program” to empower communities during World Optometry Week

Thursday, 18 April 2024 01:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

From left - Optometrist Cum Orthoptist in Charge - Orthoptic & Vision Therapy - 505 Branch Chanura Mahindapala, Vision Care General Manager Harsha Maduranga, Eye surgeon consultant and the College of Ophthalmologists Sri Lanka President Dr. Amila De Alwis, Vision Care Head of Academy cum Head of Optometry Vidya Jayarathna, Vision Care Academy Principal/Optometrist Amila Chandrasekera


Handing over ‘Vision Care Eye Screening and Educational Toolkit’ by Vision Care Managing Director Janaka Fonseka

Vision Care, Sri Lanka’s largest vision, hearing and eyewear solutions provider, marked World Optometry Week with the launch of “Vision Care primary eye screening program,” as well as the introduction of the ‘Vision Care Eye Screening and Educational Toolkit.’ 

This nationwide initiative aims to promote eye health awareness among school-aged children as well as private and public organisations, while empowering communities with essential tools for eye health promotion. Aligned with the global theme for World Optometry Week, “Advancing Optometry’s Commitment to Global Eye Care,” this initiative underscores Vision Care’s dedication to ensuring accessible and equitable eye care for all. Emphasising the pivotal role of optometrists worldwide, this theme highlights the significance of providing comprehensive eye care services to communities, irrespective of their geographic location or socioeconomic status. 

During the launch event, Vision Care distributed a tailor made “Vision Care Eye Screening and Educational Toolkit” to over 100 schools across Sri Lanka. This toolkit comprises essential components including comprehensive eye screening tools, educational materials, and guidelines for implementing effective eye health programs within school settings. Additionally, it provides access to professional support, connecting schools with local optometrists and eye care professionals for further assessments and treatments if necessary. 

Eye surgeon consultant and the College of Ophthalmologists Sri Lanka President Dr. Amila De Alwis offered an ophthalmological perspective on the importance of optometry in Sri Lanka stating, “Optometry plays a crucial role in the broader landscape of eye care in Sri Lanka. As the healthcare landscape evolves, it is imperative to prioritise the advancement of optometry education, professional training and regulation. In this way we can ensure that they are well-prepared to address the diverse eye care needs of our population.” He also stated the importance of increasing general awareness and screening for areas such as glaucoma, diabetes related eye problems and children’s vision issues to pick these up early, thereby enabling better outcomes.

Vision Care General Manager Harsha Maduranga said: “At Vision Care, we believe that good eye health is fundamental to overall well-being. Through this initiative, we aim to empower communities with the necessary tools and knowledge to prioritise eye health, starting with our younger generation. With 2.2 billion people in the world experiencing some form of visual impairment, according to WHO, the role of optometrists is more crucial than ever. In Sri Lanka alone, we have over 1000 optometry practitioners dedicated to providing primary eye care services. At Vision Care, we are proud to have nearly 200 optometry practitioners actively conducting primary eye checkups daily, ensuring that individuals receive timely attention and care for their eye health needs.”

Vision Care Head of Academy cum Head of Optometry Vidya Jayarathna said: “The Optometry profession, both globally and locally, plays a crucial role in the frontline against preventable vision impairment. Discussing the global and local significance of optometry underscores its pivotal role in ensuring access to eye care services for all individuals. The ‘Vision Care primary eye screening program’ and ‘Vision Care Eye Screening and Educational Toolkit,’ serve as invaluable assets for fostering eye health awareness and enabling early detection of vision issues. Furthermore, comprehensive information and support are available through the Vision Care branch network. We encourage schools and organisations to reach out to Vision Care to leverage these resources and receive additional assistance in establishing effective eye health initiatives within their communities.”