A disturbingly high prevalence of visual impairment among children in the country has been a cause of great concern to Sankara Nethralaya, an institution passionately committed to eradicating blindness in the country. Visual impairment among children is a most cruel handicap as it comes as a stumbling block to education, games and a carefree childhood. ‘Vision’ contributes most to learning and knowledge absorption and most learning happens at childhood, which makes healthy vision most critical to this group. The Elite School of Optometry has been in the forefront of Sankara Nethralaya’s battle against childhood blindness. Finding its pride of place in the ‘Limca Book of records’ for screening the highest number of children in a day, being chosen as a partner by ORBIS in its in its children eye care initiatives in the rural parts of the country are shining examples of the institution’s expertise in eye screening for children. The institution has over the period developed unique protocols for eye screening of this delicate segment which has added value to its endeavours.
As the coordinator for screening of school children and a person with a deep concern in allaying childhood blindness and sympathy for visually impaired children Srimathi Anuradha . N has been playing a vital role in the above. It was a moment of crowning glory for her deep understanding of the subject and her undying passion to serve this segment most close to her heart when her insightful study titled ‘“Effectiveness of innovative approach in improving spectacle wear and referral compliance in school-students’ vision screening in Chennai: A mixed methods study” aimed at enhancing the quality and outcome of school screening camps in every aspect, was honoured with a doctorate by the SASTRA University.
Srimathi Anuradha’s in-depth study involving parents, children, teachers, social workers and eye care professionals and her hands on experience in school vision screening was evident by the fact that the thesis presented by her highlights an impressive 75 barriers and 45 solutions in spectacle compliance including making available trendy frames and 37 barriers and 31 solutions for referral compliance which includes a deep engagement of parents to address the two major issues that plague successful completion and impact of a school children eye screening camp.
The doctoral work , a critical combination of learning acquired through deep study and long field exposure promises to be a guide and referral to institutions/organizations engaged in vision screening of school children.
The Sankara Nethralaya family conveys its hearty good wishes and congratulates the first recipient of a doctorate for optometry from the SASTRA University and shares the joy of its passionate crusader against childhood blindness, whose findings have found the highest recognition.