On 21 April 2018, the Peek team in Botswana carried out a successful eye screening at the SOS Children’s Village, located in Tlokweng near Gaborone. The screening event was in collaboration with Botswana Optometrists Association, the leading professional organisation for Optometrists in Botswana, and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership.
SOS Children’s Village works in the areas of family strengthening and family-based care for vulnerable children and families in Tlokweng and Gaborone.
The day started off as early as 0630 when the team met at base to prepare for the day ahead. Once at SOS Village, the day was like any other in the field. It began with a short meeting to touch base on what is expected and the purpose of our visit, which, simply put, was to deliver quality eye screening to the SOS Village children. Following this was setting up of the rooms, sensitization, registration and then the screening went underway.
Some of the children were nervous to have the eye screening test so the Peek team reassured them to be at ease and to be comfortable when taking the eye screening test. Six screening stations and one triage camp were set up, and in 3 hours 101 children were complete with eye screening. After a successful screening programme there was a lot of laughter and joy, and the Peek team joined the children to play a series of traditional fun games and activities.
One of the screeners, Game Maabane, commented that:“The eye health programme is a great initiative that is a blessing to the nation of Botswana. A lot of students take time to identify eyesight problems which results in a lot of them failing in school.”
Lesedi, one of the beneficiaries’ mothers, expressed that she was very excited that the children at the SOS Children’s Village would be helped with spectacles and believes that their grades will improve.
On 7 May 2018 Peek and the Botswana Optometrists’ Association (BOA) made a successful spectacles handover to the seven children living at SOS Children's Village who were diagnosed with eye issues. Martin Matlhake, an optometrist from the Botswana Optometrists Association examined the children’s eyes and issued them with spectacles, giving the children a brief session where he was teaching the children on how to take care of their eyes and eye health.
The Peek team in Botswana and its partners are now preparing to conduct more school eye health screening programmes across the country. Peek in Botswana aims to extend its services to diverse communities, creating awareness of eye health using cost-effective smartphone technology for a greater impact on society.
|About the author: Candy Khohliwe is a member of the Peek team in Botswana. She has a background in IT and software development, and also provides communications support to the Peek project.|