By: Kebba AF Touray
As part of events marking this year’s commemoration of World Sight Day, OneSight has donated some sanitary items to the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), as the country gears up to reopen schools. The donated items include facemasks, cartons of detergents, hand sanitizers and containers.
Vincent Mendy of OneSight said they are partnering with the Health Ministry, under the National Eye Care Program, to ensure clear vision for people with vision challenges. Mendy said they have been in existence since 2013 and have branches nationwide.
He narrated under normal circumstances, they are supposed to go to the field and provide eye screening services to the people free of charge and give them glasses.
He added: “due to suspension on public gathering to contain the spread of COVID-19, we decided to render this support to the Ministry as the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Proper Sight for Children’. This will go to ensure that children that have vision challenge are provided with the needed sight medical care, to help them attain normal vision status, and also ensure that they are safe and healthy, in their schools.
He said the sight problem is confronting the potentials of such children in schools especially during exams, as they cannot clearly see and read the text and give accurate answers to the questions they are asked during exams.
Haruna Sanneh of National Eye Health Program said: “We are partnering with OneSight in the mission dubbed we will not stop until the world can see again. We understand that there are lots of children, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, we could not embark on eye screening exercise.
He said: “The world Sight Day is celebrated second Thursday of October yearly and we will do our utmost to see how best we can access the schools to provide eye screening exercise for kids because vision problem contributes to children failing in their exams”
Mr.Adama Jimba Jobe, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, said the move will be a wake-up call to Gambian society that there are children in schools and society that are confronted with disabilities, that need to be realized, reckoned with and be supported, adding that they are part of society.
He added: “the gesture is a wakeup call to both the Ministry and Gambians at large to know that we have children who are challenged and need to be supported. I assure you that every token will be judiciously utilized and will reach the targeted group that can no longer be neglected and left behind, as it is their right to education”.
The presentation was held on Thursday 8th October at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in Banjul.