Bangkok – The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) launched the “Thai Children with Good Eyesight Campaign” on the occasion of National Children’s Day earlier this month. Ten thousand reading glasses will be delivered to Thai children with eye problems, to allow them to see things more clearly.
Deputy Public Health Minister Satit Pitutacha announced the good eyesight campaign as a gift on the occasion of National Children’s Day 2021, which emphasizes enhancement of visual development in kindergarten children and eye screening for elementary school children to identify visual abnormalities in all children aged 5-6. The MOPH has implemented the Thai Children with Good Eyesight Project by screening the eyes of grade 1 students nationwide.
Those detected with abnormal eyesight will be referred to an ophthalmologist or a team of ophthalmologists for diagnosis. Eyeglasses will also be given to children with impaired vision. The Department of Health has operated the project by screening eye condition of Grade 1 students since 2016. In 2020, only 43,336 Grade 1 students underwent eye screening. There were 2,827 students with abnormal eyesight and only 135 of them received eyeglasses.
In 2021, the MOPH will accelerate student health development in an integrated pattern in accordance with the new normal practice under the Thai Children with Good Eyesight Project. The private sector has provided 10,000 pairs of eyeglasses. Metta Pracharak Hospital (Rai Khing Temple), as a training center, has been assigned to verify the accuracy of eyeglass prescriptions, conduct eye screening and provide eyeglasses to students in 12 target provinces, one province per health area. The 12 provinces are: Chiang Rai, Phetchabun, Kamphaeng Phet, Saraburi, Nakhon Pathom, Rayong, Roi Et, Udon Thani, Buriram, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla. The hospital has also been assigned to conduct eye screening of all grade 1 students. (NNT)