Letters to the Editor

Protect funding for kids' vision screening

Vision disorders are one of the most prevalent disabling childhood conditions. If not detected and treated early, these disorders can lead to permanent vision loss.

Visual functioning is a strong predictor of academic performance in school age children. Over 80,000 children in Iowa schools, more than 12.1 million nationwide, have a vision problem impacting their ability to learn.

Prevent Blindness Iowa, a voluntary health organization dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight across all life stages, provides programs that directly affect the visual quality of life for thousands of Iowans each year. One of our most important programs is our children’s vision screening program. Through this program, we train school nurses and volunteers on how to accurately detect vision problems in children among other services. These screenings help identify potential vision problems that can impact a child’s ability to learn, self-esteem, athletic performance and other social problems.

The Iowa Legislature has recognized the importance of this and provided Prevent Blindness Iowa an appropriation to ensure these valuable screening programs continue. Last year, lawmakers approved a $96,138 appropriation for these efforts with strong bipartisan support, which was signed by the Governor. That funding was later cut by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Preventing vision problems and maintaining healthy eyes for all children must continue to be a public health priority in Iowa. Please help Prevent Blindness Iowa restore this funding by contacting your local lawmakers.

Philip Blumberg

President

Prevent Blindness Iowa

West Des Moines

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Want to join the conversation?

Consider subscribing to TheGazette.com and participate in discussing the important issues to our community with other Gazette subscribers.

Already a Gazette or TheGazette.com subscriber? Just login here with your account email and password.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.