Needy residents get free eye checks

MORE than 140 low-income residents of Bukit Batok East enjoyed a free eye screening yesterday.

The seven-hour mass screening event was organised by the area's grassroots organisations and the Singapore Optometric Association (SOA), together with optometry students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic.

Through the event, held for the second time in Bukit Batok East, residents received free prescription spectacles that were donated by industry sponsors.

About one in five of the residents was also referred for further medical check-ups for conditions that included cataracts and glaucoma.

Mr Jason Wong, an SOA councillor, said: "Even though optometrists are well distributed throughout Singapore, (they) may not be aware of, or able to reach, residents who can benefit from an eye check."

"Examples are those who have restricted mobility, or who are genuinely in financial difficulty, or even those who are unaware of the severity of their general health condition which can be detected with an eye health check," Mr Wong added.

Jurong GRC MP and Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, who visited the event, said: "Our society is ageing so rapidly, and vision problems are very much associated with age.

"For the elderly, sometimes the eyes are the most neglected part of the body... (But) the problem gradually gets worse, complications (develop) and they can become blind.

"Once they lose their sight, it becomes so sad because then it affects their mobility."

adrianl@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2015, with the headline 'Needy residents get free eye checks'. Print Edition | Subscribe