As part of the “Local-to-Local” Technical Exchange Program conducted by Okayama Prefectural Council for international skill development, AMDA sent eye care experts and carried out eye examination for children from 26th
of August 2015.
In Mongolia where eye examination for children is not so common or no attention is taken until obvious symptoms appear, thus there are many cases of late diagnosis of amblyopia, strabismus and other eye diseases. It can affect children’s education. About 80% of children’s eye problems can be corrected evidently if they receive proper and timely medical treatment. From the request from Mongolia Ophthalmologist Association, AMDA have been dispatching experts from Japan to Mongolia every year since 2010, and carried out seminars and eye examinations for children.
This year was the 6th
time, and AMDA team attended to a long-pending issue, which is providing eye examination to children living in suburbs far from the capital, Ulaanbaatar, with the help of health bureau, ophthalmologists, educators and parents. In Bulgan city, Bulgan prefecture located 400km northwest of Ulaanbaatar, AMDA team examined 106 children at Erudemin Urugo school, 123 children at prefectural second elementary and junior high school, and 56 children at elementary and junior high school in Hisig Undoru village. The chief of Bulgan prefectural health bureau commented, ”We, the prefectural government health bureau, educators and parents are so glad because we don’t have such examination in Bulgan prefecture. As a representative of our prefecture, I deeply appreciate Japanese doctors and Japanese people.” Further, some local children sang an appreciative song.
During three days eye camp, 20% of participated children had some kind of vision impairments, but most of them could be rectified with eye-glasses. However, 12% of the children need further consultation with an ophthalmologist. These children who were recommended to wear glasses received spectacle frames, the most expensive part of a spectacle, for free presented by Okayama Kouraku Lions Club. They will make and fit lenses according to their prescription.
Also, in Ulaanbaatar, AMDA team carried out eye examination for 21 children with eye trouble and four of them visited an ophthalmologist of AMDA team last year. After consultation, it turned out some lost their glasses, or did not replace them when they were broken. All of them received new glasses this year. The parents of those children said, “We appreciate eye care experts from Japan deeply. Thanks to you, we could realize our irresponsibility. It’s a great activity.”
With this examination result, all parties concerned think that it is necessary to promote public awareness on children’s eye health in cooperation with public administration, board of education, Parent-Teacher Association and Mongolia Ophthalmologist Association. Next year we are planning to have a panel discussion to appeal the necessity towards society.
We reported this activity to the Japanese embassy in Ulaanbaatar and the health department of Ulaanbaatar. We requested their cooperation for the public awareness campaign of children’s eye health planned next year.