Eye clinic helps children see
Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Visually impaired children of Perry County and surrounding areas got an opportunity to see better after visiting the 12th Annual Black Belt Eye Clinic Wednesday.
Sight Savers America is a non-profit children’s eye care network that provides statewide eye care to children in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
They have collaborated with the Perry County Health Department, LensCrafters and The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Ophthalmology to bring the clinic to the communities of the Black Belt for years. They offer free eye exams and glasses for children.
“There is a lack of access to vision care in this area for children. We’re identifying kids who are likely to have vision problems and getting them world class eye care,” said Chad Nichols, Sight Savers Chief Operating Officer. “There is a lot of financial need and some kids don’t have insurance or the ability to pay. So, we are bringing the care to them.”
Nichols said children who don’t have access to proper eye care can fall behind in school.
“If you don’t see well, it’s going to be had to perform in school. It’s harder to read and stay on grade level,” Nichols said. “So, we are trying to detect these problems early so kids have the best opportunity to enjoy a life where they can see everything the world has to offer.”
Yulondra Rhone is a parent of four and has been coming to the clinic for many years. She said the clinic has been a big help to her family.
“I appreciate it. Three of my children need glasses. I really like that they will replace the glasses for free if they are broken,” Rhone said.
Melanie Chaney volunteers with One Sight, a LensCrafters foundation that strives to provide quality vision care to countries all around the world.
“This clinic is awesome. I think we all deserve the right to be able to see clearly. Kids deserve to get a good start at succeeding in life. I’m just glad people are taking advantage of it,” Chaney said.