Finally! The CMIRC School Vision Screening Project is in operation!! We have a great team of trained volunteers including nine CMIRC Rotarians, two Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Wattana Rotarians and two Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North Rotarians. We also have eight non-Rotarians (some will soon become Rotarians!) including opticians Khun One and Khun Wut.
We began on October 8 at the Wat Suan Dok School by screening all 3rd and 5th-graders and children from other grades who the teachers had identified as having vision problems. We then continued screenings during the month of October at the Wat Muen Ngern Gong, Wat Chiang Yuen, Wat Puak Chang, Wat Sri Suphan, and Wat Pa Phaeng Schools. (Above is an overview of our screening at Wat Sri Suphan.)
Those children who exhibit vision problems during the screening then see our optician partner Khun One from Wen One Optic for an on-site examination and prescription, if needed (pictured right). In all, we screened 459 children and wrote 68 prescriptions for glasses, which the children will receive free-of-charge, and distributed 12 reading glasses.
CMIRC would like to recognize the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North for their support for children with serious vision problems that go beyond what an optician and prescription glasses can address. We have identified such a child (Nong Nichaporn) at Wat Suan Dok School and have made arrangements with her dad and school staff for her to be examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist at the CMU University Medical School Hospital. (In the photo below, Nong Nichaporn is holding her dad's hand, with school staff at right, and I'm at left with my wife Phijitra, who is a valuable asset for this project.)
In December, we will provide vision screening for all 3rd and 5th grade students at the remaining 6 Tessabon (Municipal) Schools in Chiang Mai. We will then have screened children at all 11 municipal schools where the poorest families send their children. We estimate that with the Wat Suan Dok School included we will have screened over 800 students this year!
This program 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 all costs with the exception of the children’s frames. One thousand, high quality New Balance children’s frames have been donated by Eyewear Designs Limited of Bethpage, NY, USA.
Our School Vision Screening Team: