Government launches eye screening and eyewear voucher programme for pensioners and children

Government launches eye screening and eyewear voucher programme for pensioners and children

The Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Health has launched its eye-testing and spectacles programme, targeting children and pensioners. An announcement about the programme was made in this year’s national budget.

At today’s launching, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, stated that the programme is geared to ensure the overall well-being of children and the elderly.

The initiative targets the screening of children below the age of 18 to identify possible issues with their vision and persons over 65 to ensure their vision is not deteriorating at a fast rate.

“So, what we want to do here is a comprehensive eye-care programme, starting with screening for prevention at the younger age and even if we find something we will fix it, and as you grow older, we will have programmes in between so that we can address different problems we are finding at different age ranges,” the Minister said.

Minister of Health – Dr. Frank Anthony

Specifically, vouchers valuing $2,000 will go towards the cost of the eye-tests and once it is determined that eyewear is needed, then a voucher totaling $15,000 will be provided to go towards the purchase of the eyewear.

“So, this is part of a more comprehensive programme that we have in the Ministry. We have started this programme about a year ago and we have screened so far close to 20,000 children at the Nursery level, and this year our focus will be of moving from nursery into primary schools and we have set ourselves an objective of screen close to 180,000 children,” the Minister disclosed. 

As it relates to children, the Minister explained that the move is part of a larger programme. In addition, to eye testing, children will be targeted for a full overall check up of their health.

The Minister noted that while the Health Ministry has the capacity to carry out the programme, it has realised that it may not be able to screen the large number of persons at its facilities, and therefore, some private institutions have been invited to partner with the Government to provide screening under the programme.

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