Screening programme across India begins

Nick Rumney joined fellow optometrists in India for the One Bright Vision Child Health programme

Nick Rumney with optometrists in India

An independent optometrist from Hereford has travelled to India to help test the sight of children as part of a vision screening programme.

Supporting the joint work of Optometry Giving Sight, CooperVision and the India Vision Institute, Nick Rumney visited the Government-run Gopanpally Tandy Primary School in Randareddy alongside other optometrists where this year's One Bright Vision Child Health programme was launched. The initiative will see over 22,000 children from across the country have their vision screened.

Speaking about the initiative, which Mr Rumney has support since its inception in 2016, the optometrist said: "It is rewarding to see these organisations working so closely together to tackle the fact that some 0.17% of children in India are blind, with 33.3% caused by refractive errors that could so easily be corrected if screening was carried out."

In 2016, more than 34,000 children had their vision screened through the initiative, with 2900 free spectacles prescribed.

Reflecting on the initiative this year, Mr Rumney added: "I usually rely on my professional dispensing opticians to dispense spectacles at BBR, but it was good to keep my hand in."

Mr Rumney confirmed that as part of the 2017 initiative, further vision screening is planned in Mumbai in October, as well as other cities in India later this year.