Focus on eye care for 20/20 vision

2010/05/18
By K. Harinderan
[email protected]

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Orang Asli children from Desa Temuan, Bukit Lanjan trying on their new spectacles donated by an anonymous donor in conjunction with the World Optometry Day celebration. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail

Orang Asli children from Desa Temuan, Bukit Lanjan trying on their new spectacles donated by an anonymous donor in conjunction with the World Optometry Day celebration. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail

PETALING JAYA: The World Optometry Day (WOD) was celebrated for the first time in Malaysiathe nation in a bid to increase public awareness of the benefits of for eye care and early detection of visual impairments.

WOD, which fell on Sunday,May 16 annually, was celebrated by the National Institute of Ophthalmology (NIO) at its centre here under the theme “Early Detection — Better Vision” to informeducate the public on the means of preventive treatments to prevent of visual impairments which can be corrected if detected early.

The NIO centre is next to the Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital (Thoneh)(Thoneh) here.


The celebration was launched by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim who said it was crucial for the public to have their eyes examined, especially children, as most cases of visual impairment can be rectified.

“This is in line with the Selangor state government’s role to focus on improving the welfare of its citizens.

He said there’that it’ss a crucial need for more trained professionals in the ophthalmology industry as figures show that the ratio now stands at one optometrist to 40,000 patients, while ideally, there should be one optometrist to 10,000.


“The need for more qualified eye professionals today stems from the alarming increase in eye problems worldwide.

“It’s estimated that there are 78,300 Malaysians who are blind and over 737,000 who are visually impaired in some way,” said Thoneh’s deputy chairman Datuk S. Kulasegaran.

He said the role of the optometristoptometry means the profession is toof examine eyes, prescribe glasses, contact lenses and diagnose certain eye conditions, which is seriously lacking today.


“To cater for this, the NIO, which is the academic arm of Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital, conducts post-graduate programmes to train medical officers to be ophthalmologists, courses for nurses and technicians to work in the field, as well as programmes to train to train qualified optometrists.”

Presently, the institute has 83 students who are expected to graduate in 2012.

In the spirit of the WOD, a team from the institute conducted free vision screening for 90 Orang Asli pupils at Desa Temuan, Bukit Lanjan, recently.

At the event, 11 Orang Asli students were prescribed spectacles.
The spectacles were donated by an anonymous donor.

The NIO also conducted free vision screening for the public and held an exhibition on eye care and optometry at its centre.



Read more: Focus on eye care for 20/20 vision http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/Focusoneyecarefor20_20vision/Article#ixzz0qR0d2zqq