Lions Club program screens children for eye problems

NANAIMO – Hub City Lions raising money for portable device to be used in schools to detect vision problems.

Vision problems left undetected and untreated can seriously affect a child’s development and academic performance.

To make sure vision problems are detected in children early on, the Hub City Lions Club is raising cash to help buy four Spot Vision Screener units that will be used to test the vision of children in schools throughout the central Island region. The effort to purchase the units and conduct screenings is a partnership between Lions central Island districts and Welch Allyn, a U.S. medical diagnostics equipment manufacturer, which has provided a grant to keep down costs.

The portable, hand-held devices can scan the eyes of children six months or older for nearsightedness, farsightedness, blurred vision, unequal refractive power, and eye misalignment, and give readouts on the severity of the conditions in seconds.

Lions clubs from across the central Island and Comox Valley regions have so far committed to raise $20,000 toward purchasing the screeners.

“We’re doing this as a district project,” said Peter Thomas, Hub City Lions Club secretary. “To start off with it will be with the schools.”

Thomas said the Lions have already contributed $3,000 toward buying the devices which cost $7,620 each.

The goal is to have the vision screeners operating in schools before the end of 2015.

Hub City Lions is currently accepting donations toward the project and will sell reflective house numbers to raise more money for program at Canadian Tire in Nanaimo North Town Centre Saturday (Nov. 14) 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Donations can also be mailed in to Hub City Lions, in care of Peter Thomas, P.O. Box 411, Nanaimo, B.C., V9R 5L3.

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