In South Africa we had Eye Care Awareness Week occurring from 5 to 10 October 2009. During this week there is a national campaign running by all the associations and organisation involved with eye care to promoting eye health to the general public.

For many of us it seems unnecessary to be reminded about our health and specifically about our eyes, but the shocking truth is that the majority of South Africa’s citizens have never had their eyes examined. There are a huge number of people out there who are struggling with their sight which can easily be corrected by a normal pair of spectacles.

In a number of surveys done is South Africa, it was found that between 10–20 % of all school going children had a refractive error that needed correction. Can you image the impact it will have on a child’s (and overall on the school’s) academic performance if they can suddenly see their world more clearly?

Basil and I were fortunate enough to participate in the Eye Care Awareness programs that were running in the Western Cape under the auspices of Jonga Trust. We had the opportunity to test the eyes of a number of disadvantaged school children from all areas of the Western Cape.

In the news paper clipping below you can see Basil testing the eyes of a Zahra, one of the young children who came to the Eye Care Awareness program that was held at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Newspaper article of Basil testing eyes at Red Cross Hospital

Basil Kotze, one of the Optometrists at Charl Laäs Optometrists, busy testing eyes and fitting spectacles to previously disadvantage children during Eye Care Awareness week.