Free eye checks for 600 foreign domestic helpers

Foreign domestic helpers getting their eyes checked at the United World College of South East Asia campus in Dover Road yesterday.
Foreign domestic helpers getting their eyes checked at the United World College of South East Asia campus in Dover Road yesterday.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Around 600 foreign domestic helpers received free eye checks and sunglasses yesterday as part of an initiative by the Essilor Vision Foundation and non-profit organisation Optometry Giving Sight.

The event at the United World College of South East Asia campus in Dover Road was organised together with non-governmental organisation Aidha, which provides domestic workers with business skills, with help from volunteers from the Ngee Ann Polytechnic School of Health Sciences.

The Essilor Vision Foundation is the philanthropic arm of lens-maker Essilor.

Of the 595 screened, most were from Indonesia and the Philippines

Thirty per cent were found to have uncorrected poor vision and they received vouchers, which they can use to get free further examinations at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic optometry centre and free prescription glasses.

Ms Vitancur Severa Mendoza, 39, said that getting free check-ups and glasses was a great help as she could not afford them. "Glasses can be very expensive here," said Ms Mendoza, who suffers from astigmatism, which prevents the eyes from focusing correctly.

Mr Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, chief corporate mission officer for Essilor International, said the initiative aimed to provide better vision to "under-served" communities here.

In the run-up to World Sight Day on Oct 13, the two organisations will also provide free screenings for migrant workers and needy Singaporeans.

At the Anchorvale Community Club yesterday, 500 Sengkang residents also received free eye screenings, organised by the Singapore National Eye Centre and the Singapore Lions Clubs.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2016, with the headline 'Free eye checks for 600 foreign domestic helpers'. Print Edition | Subscribe