November was a slow month for our CMIRC School Vision Screening Project due to school exams and then the Chiang Mai Municipal Schools fall break. This has allowed our Rotary and friends of Rotary vision screening team to rest up after screening 459 children resulting in twelve reading glasses delivered on site, and sixty-eight prescriptions for glasses which were all delivered and fitted by the 1st week of November (see photos, below).
It’s a good thing our team is now rested since we will complete screenings for six more municipal schools between December 2 and December 14. In all during the month of December, we will screen over 400-3rd and 5th graders in addition to children with vision problems identified in other grades by their teachers.
As reported last month, we have identified a child with serious vision problems (Nong Nichaporn or Oy) at Wat Suan Dok School and we made arrangements with her dad, mom and school staff for her to be examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist at the Wat Suan Dok CMU University Medical School hospital. She has now been examined twice and is waiting for a final prescription of specialized glasses.
By mid-December, we will have screened all the 3rd and 5th grade children at all eleven municipal schools where the poorest families send their children. It now seems certain that with the Wat Suan Dok School included we will have screened over 800 students by the end of this year this year!
The CMIRC School Vision Screening Program at the eleven municipal schools is being made possible by the very generous donation from the Rotary Club of Spokane#21; their gift to the children of Chiang Mai will cover almost all program costs with the exception of the children’s frames and prescriptions for children who were referred by teachers from outside our targeted 3rd and 5th grade classes. The program at Wat Suan Dok School was funded by the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Wattana. One thousand, high quality New Balance children’s frames have been donated by Eyewear Designs Limited of Bethpage, NY, USA. We now have a new donor to the program: The Thai Thaim Foundation has just donated 10,000 Baht.
Dear Readers, in spite of the generosity of our donors, we are still going to be behind on our budget this year, due to the unexpected numbers of referrals from teachers in grades other than 3 and 5. During this first year, we are trying to help all the children who are referred. In future years we will not have this backlog of need. The cost of a prescription including the optician’s fees is about 550 Baht (US$18), the glasses are provided for free to the children. If you wish to learn how you can help, please contact Project Champion John Schorr at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel.: +66 (0)8 5030 2143
Our School Vision Screening Team: