The Free State Department of Health (FSDoH), a KST team and optometrist Dr Dire Thomas travelled to Motheo and Fezile Dabi districts to screen 7 980 learners in 20 primary schools under the KST programme. The majority of these learners have never had the opportunity to visit an optometrist and the impact of the vision screening pilot project led us to realise that a pair of spectacles can vastly improve the learning experience.

A total of 256 leaners received spectacles and parents, educators, School Governing Body members, FSDoE district office representatives and the FSDoH Chief Medical Officer were in attendance at the official spectacle handover ceremonies. Parents and learners were orientated on how to care for the spectacles and educators were tasked with assisting in monitoring the learners.

This initiative has not only impacted the learners but it has also created the opportunity for KST and the FSDoH to employ community members and train them in the fundamental techniques of vision screening and referral practices. Through this, 30 temporary job opportunities were created.