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Independent provides free eye tests to Belarus kids

Observatory the Opticians has again signed up to a programme to provide sight tests to children living close to Chernobyl

Child receives sight test

A Suffolk independent has taken part in a programme to help children affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Based in Beccles, Observatory the Opticians has provided a group of children from Belarus with their first-ever sight tests.

Children living near Chernobyl are still affected by the radiation 30 years on from the nuclear power plant disaster, which saw an explosion and fire release radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

The programme was established by Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline and brings a group of children to the UK for one month every year “as that is the time it takes for the radiation to get out of their system,” the charity said. It is believed that the one-month detox can extend a person’s life expectancy by two years.

Having performed the eye examinations, senior optometrist at Observatory the Opticians, Rene Moor, told OT: “This is the second year we have helped with this initiative and we are delighted to be involved. The children are so polite and grateful, and for many this is the first time they have been to an opticians so they find the experience fascinating.”

The practice confirmed that it would take part in the programme in 2017.