Eyesight examinations by students of optometrics, the UW Faculty of Physics, are available free of charge for the citizens of Ukraine who had to flee the war zone in their country. During the fortnight, over thirty patients received free consultation.
The Academic Centre for Education of Optometrists, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, has launched the initiative called “The eyesight examination and glasses for Ukraine”. The Ukrainian citizens who fled the war in their mother country can receive a free optometric examination, as well as suitable eyewear.
“Some people, who were forced to leave their country because of the war, happen to reach Poland without their eyeglasses. Some of them do not even have appropriate medical tests, or the ones they have are not carried out in a very precise way,” Jacek Pniewski, assistant professor and project coordinator at the Academic Centre for Education of Optometrists, said.
The examinations are often conducted in the morning or late afternoon. Each procedure lasts about an hour. During the two weeks when the project started, there were over thirty patients, from small children to the elderly, who underwent the examination.
The Master-degree students examine the eyesight, whereas optical lenses are framed by the Bachelor-degree students during their optometric lab classes. More difficult cases require the consultation with Justyna Kiermasz and Marlena Bobrowska, highly experienced optometrists. On the examination, the eyeglasses prescription is issued and lenses are ordered.
“The lenses, which we use in the production of the eyewear for the Ukrainians, are delivered by our business friends,” Pniewski explained. “We do not pay for the frames either. They are usually withdrawals, long displayed in shops.”
The online registration system is available via http://acko.asysto.pl. Registrations are also possible by the e-mail address: acko(at)uw.edu.pl.
“The information about our initiative has been made public in social media, such as Facebook profiles that coordinate emergency actions for refugees. In addition, we prepared leaflets in the Ukrainian language while our students distributed them in the sites of Warsaw, where the Ukrainians are offered help and assistance,” Pniewski said.
The European Studies of Optometry and Optics (Europejskie Studia Optyki Okularowej i Optometrii) are an individual education programme at the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw. This four-year first-degree practical programme is the first in Poland first-cycle studies by the standards of the European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO).
The graduates are fully qualified to perform the profession of an optometrist. An optometrist is a paramedic professional. Their role is to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormality. The first-cycle programme can be continued on the second-cycle studies in optometrics.
More details about the examinations are provided on the UW Faculty of Physics website (only in Polish).