Community ophthalmic intervention has eye on the future

03 October 2011

Postgraduate ophthalmic nursing students joined forces with SHAWCOPostgraduate ophthalmic nursing students joined forces with SHAWCO (UCT's Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation) in September to conduct eye-screening tests on infants and children in the Imizamo Yethu township near Hout Bay.

Some 21 infants and children were tested, two of whom were referred for further management.

Research shows that while the number of children who are blind has declined globally by 10% over the past 10 years, the numbers have increased by 31% in sub-Saharan Africa, due to population growth, the region's disease burden, and poverty.

Una Kyriacos, senior lecturer in the Division of Nursing & Midwifery, said that if visual problems are not detected early in life, children will struggle at school.

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