To this day, approximately 2.5 billion people all over the world suffer unnecessarily from poor eyesight. Our eyes receive 80% of the information we take in on a daily basis, making it our most important organ of sense. Our eyes are prone to being damaged from the Ultra Violet rays which can also lead to cataracts, and the risk of damaging the eyes from the UV rays is 3 times higher for a child than for an adult. With our advancing technology, people spend an average of 4 hours a day in front of a computer or a cellular phone’s screen which contributes to the impairing of the eyes. Poor eyesight results to unsatisfactory performance negatively affecting our capabilities and giving the children in school a higher risk of failing classes. Poor vision also damages one’s health and could lead to accidents.
With the initiative of France Philippine United Action (FPUA) together with Children of Asia (COA), Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF), Essilor Manufacturing Philippines Inc. (EMPI), Essilor Philippines Optical Distribution Inc. (EPODI), and Essilor Shared Services Philippines Inc. (ESSPI), an Optical Mission was held last November 10, 2018, in Daantanbayan, Northern Cebu.
The health mission was organized for the benefit of the students from Saint Martin De Porres Academy where FPUA and CoA have an on-going scholarship program. Furthermore, the families of the FPUA and CoA scholars, as well as the FPUA community from Barangay Agujo were given the opportunity to go through free eye screening and to receive free eyeglasses as well.
Following typhoon Yolanda, FPUA built two rehabilitation sites in Daanbantayan for the victims of the disaster. Since their inauguration in 2015, FPUA has developed various programs in order to help the communities of the newly built villages to become sustainable.
Together with Essilor staff volunteers, four optometrists from Cebu City volunteered for this mission. The main purpose of this activity was to conduct eye examinations and provide prescriptions to those who were concluded to have poor eyesight. This program also stood by the tagline of Essilor which is: “Improving lives by improving sight”.
The Eye screening program started with an orientation on the importance of the care of the eyes as well as the briefing on the flow of the program. It was followed by the visual screening through the visio-test machines and the measurement of one’s refractive error with the help of the auto refractor. Prescription glasses were given out on the same day for those with poor vision.
A total of 375 individuals were successfully aided by the eye screenings. Through the eye examinations, 57% of the 375 people were concluded to have clear eyesight and 43% were found to have poor eyesight and need assistance. On the same day, eye wears were given to those in need while those who need special prescription glasses will be receiving their eyewear in a few weeks’ time.