Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ratiram: Prevent blindness in children, screen eyes

IF we are to save our society we need to instill values of decency and respect in our children in order that they may become decent adults of tomorrow.

So said president of Rapidfire Kidz Foundation Kevin Ratiram as he commented yesterday on the high number of incidents of murders and abuse of children in Trinidad and Tobago. 

Ratiram was speaking to an audience of parents and children at the launch of the foundation’s “Eyes Right” project at Canton Palace Restaurant in San Fernando. 

He said Government, police and the Child Protection Task Force cannot solve the problem of child abuse and murders. 

“People who abuse, rape, and kill children were themselves at one time exposed to wrong virtues and teaching, which led to them being who they are today,” said Ratiram. 

He also told parents that they were the ones their children depended on for physical well being. 

He advised parents they had a special responsibility to ensure that kids eat healthy and exercise.

 “Unhealthy children become unhealthy adults which is prevalent in Trinidad and Tobago today,” said Ratiram. 

The foundation donated 35 pairs of eye glasses to primary school children after they conducted eye testing at the La Romaine Government Primary School and La Romaine Roman Catholic School. 

Dean Frankie, an executive member of the foundation, said the “Eyes Right” project entailed visitation to all primary schools across the country to conduct eye screening. 

Frankie said the foundation had visited three schools thus far, and it was noted that ten per cent of the children in each school required glasses and 25 per cent required further testing. 

Feature speaker ophthalmologist Dr Anirudh Mahabir said over 39 million people in the world were irrevocably blind, and 285 million had diminished vision. 

“It is important that children’s eyes be screened, not just so that they can see the blackboard, but so as to prevent them from going blind,” said Mahabir. “The eyes are probably the most important organs of the body. People have told me they would rather lose an arm than an eye.”  

He praised the Rapidfire Kidz Foundation for giving back to the country by helping children.