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Lions Club of Seychelles kicks off campaign for better eyesight in elderly homes | 04 November 2020

In a total of 18 residents of the Plaisance Home for the Elderly who took part in a recent free eye test drive conducted by the Lions of Seychelles, five were diagnosed with cataract and eight are in need of corrective glasses.

This first drive kicks off a nationwide campaign led by non-profit organisation to help improve the eyesight of the elderly people residing in the eight elderly homes across the country.

There are around 130 senior citizens presently living in these homes.

The Lions Club’s district officer for vision and sight for kids in Region E (Seychelles and Mombasa), D.V Sharma, noted that the campaign forms part of the club’s ‘Sight First’ initiative, which expands to include young children and other demographics in the society.

The free eye screening camp undertaken at the Plaisance Home for the Elderly some weeks ago was supported by opticians from Optic Seychelles.

Head of ophthalmology Dr Roland Barbé and his colleague Dr Yogesh Panwala, from the Victoria Hospital, were also on site to identify those who will need further assistance such as cataract surgery.

“We thought of starting a project for the elderly […] Plaisance is the first location for the project, and the plan is to have similar screenings in all of the eight homes,” explained Mr Sharma.

“The department of health’s role is to assist to those suffering from eye problems such as cataract and glaucoma, as a matter of priority. Additionally, we are also looking at the possibilities of providing glasses for those who have got any issues and who need a new pair of glasses. The elderly are living longer than they used to because of the environment which we have and it is important that this group of people, who are more susceptible to hypertension, diabetes, renal problem, glaucoma and cataract, to receive an early diagnosis and in turn make their lives more beautiful.”

Many of the residents of the Plaisance home were appreciative of the gesture from the Lions Club of Seychelles, and were further pampered with each resident receiving a hamper of goodies.

The Lions of Seychelles are also looking to assist school children, particularly those in primary schools, in the form of free eye screenings.

“We are looking at international grants which will come for District 411a, which includes Seychelles, Ethiopia and Kenya. Once we get the grant we will get in touch with the Ministry of Education to find how we can best organise this because it is a massive project which we believe will go on for some years,” said Mr Sharma.

 

Elsie Pointe

 

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