Children aged five may soon be required to undergo eye and hearing tests to get admitted in schools across Bangalore.
Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader stressed the need for early detection and said that from next academic year, vision and hearing certificates will be made mandatory at the time of admission for class one students.
‘The government will soon frame guidelines as part of its State Eye Health Policy and make vision and hearing certificates mandatory for class I school admission in Bangalore.’
The minister said, "Comprehensive eye care service needs to be an integral part of primary health care with streamlining of health promotion for eye care alongside general health initiatives. Since early detection is crucial, we are considering making it compulsory from the next academic year. Parents will have to submit hearing and vision certificates to the school at the time of admission."
A technical committee comprising of 19 doctors under the chairmanship of Dr Krishna Prasad of Prasad Nethralaya, Udupi has been set up to formulate the State Eye Health Policy for Karnataka. The committee will look into the implementation of national program of control of blindness and also identify gaps in the process.
"Wherever there are facilities, parents will have to go and get their children undergo tests and obtain the certificate. In the meantime, we have a team of doctors under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, but we lack sufficient number of specialist refractory optometrists and equipment required for the refractive tests. We will fill all the vacancies soon," he added.