August 30, 2012
This month, SOMS has signed four MOUs with the Ministry of Health to conduct districtwide school children vision programs in three Northern Province districts and one Southern Province district. Approximately 28,000 school children will be screened in the Mannar district for vision impairment following the Vision2020 Secretariat process and those requiring follow up will be examined by qualified optometrists under the supervision of the district MO (medical officer) for Eye Care Services. Those requiring eyeglasses will receive these free of charge. Additionally, all these cases as well as those being referred for other follow up will be tracked through a process that SOMS and the local MOH offices will put in place. Similarly, approximately 26,000 school children will be screened in the Kilinochchi district and approximately 12,000 in the Mullaitivu district. Matara district in the Southern Province, and one of the larger districts in the country, has approximately 160,000 school children to be screened. The Matara program similarly will be coordinated through the district RDHS office and Dr. Ranga, MO for Non Communicable Diseases, will act as the program liaison between SOMS and the local MOH offices and education zonal directors.