Vision boost for needy kids in 5 schools

Needy pupils in Qihua Primary School, located in Woodlands, will be the first in Singapore to benefit from roving optical shops within school grounds.

These shops will offer such pupils the chance to receive free pairs of spectacles on the spot, instead of having to go to the shops.

The shops will remain at a primary school for a period of three days, before moving on to another school.

Four other primary schools are part of a pilot, carried out under an enhanced Spectacles Voucher Fund, which is part of the National Myopia Prevention Programme.

The fund was established in 2006 through a collaboration between the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and lens manufacturer Essilor Singapore.

HPB and Essilor inked a memorandum of understanding yesterday, under which the latter will sponsor $2.43 million - enough to provide 4,500 pairs of lenses - for the next three years. This is up from the previous three-year sponsorship amount of $1.62 million.

Pupils on financial assistance who are diagnosed with myopia, or who are found to need new spectacles, at annual vision screenings in schools will each receive two vouchers.

One is a spectacle-frame subsidy voucher provided by HPB, which has been increased in value from $30 to $50. The other is a lens voucher worth $180, sponsored by Essilor Singapore.

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