As part of World Optometry Day celebration 118 students of ESO along with 4 faculty and an administrator went to a tribal village Karumanthurai, in the Kalvarayan hills in Salem district. The team started on 28th February, 2016 from Chennai and came back on 2nd March 2016.
1. ESO Screened 3,666 students in 13 schools in a single day (29-02-2016) with the entire ESO student team headed by Dr. R KrishnaKumar, Principal and N Anuradha, Lecturer and vision screening coordinator. Only 5 children (0.1%) were found to have refractive error and 44 children (1.2%) were found to have other eye problems. 12 teams comprising 122 members completed the screening between 9.30 am and 4.15 pm.
2. ESO also installed a self testing illuminated chart in the market area of the village for creating awareness among the public about their vision status. This is the 9th such chart ESO installs in a public place and the first one in the tribal area.
3. In a unique initiative of raising awareness about Presbyopia, a bank and the post office in the village were provided with three sets of reading glasses with instructions for the public to use whenever they visit these places.
4. ESO created awareness to the selected students of Saraswati Vidhya Mandir about eye and vision care.
5. Posters on eye and vision care were given to all the schools which were screened.
6. A motivation talk was given by Dr. Sumathi Narayanan, ESO's communication faculty to the students of two schools, Prabhavati matriculation school and Saraswati Vidhya Mandir.
7. A survey on the activities of the children including indoor and outdoor activities was done in a school to understand the relationship between the low prevalence of refractive errors and day to day activities. A KAP study was done among the teachers and students to understand the awareness about refractive errors among them.
8. This initiative was also part of the public health and community optometry course of the third year UG students.
9. This has been a unique initiative and enriching experience for all of the ESO students including a stay in the village school. ESO students also had an opportunity to interact with the hostel kids of the school including the stay and play with them. ESO donated comic books to the Saraswathy Vidya mandir school library. Students also trekked and visited a falls in the village. Shri Nandakumar, Joint Commissioner, Income tax gave a motivational talk to ESO students on 28th Feb 2016
ESO would like to thank Dr P P Santanam, Former Principal and Professor, Occupational Optometry for his support for this community activity and DAASYA, NGO for their support.The event was inaugurated by Shri Nandakumar, Joint Commissioner, Income tax.