Poor eye sight causes accidents – ZOA

EYE specialists have challenged the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Council to conduct a research on how poor eyesight among motorists has contributed to road carnage.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Zimbabwe Optometry Association (ZOA) president, Richard Mavheneka said they were worried some accidents were being caused by poorly sighted drivers.

Mavheneka said it was important to have eye screening for drivers after every five years to determine if their eyes have not yet betrayed their judgment, especially regarding oncoming vehicles.

“In other countries, when drivers’ licences expire, drivers are required to undergo health checkups, which include vision inspection, so they are declared fit to drive. We need legislative drive so we save lives on the road,” he said.

“You attend to a patient and you see that their vision is significantly impaired, yet they have just come in driving and you wonder how they managed to drive all the way to visit an optometrist.”

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Mavheneka said the issue would be tabled at ZOA’s international conference to be held in Victoria Falls between February 26 and 28.

The conference, to be held under the theme Harmonising health systems and legislation in an effort to combat preventable blindness in Africa is expected to address the issue of drivers with poor vision on the road.

He said in the run-up to the conference, his organisation will be offering free eye screening to drivers, but was yet to set the dates and venues of the screening, because they were still in talks with potential partners.

Mavheneka said they were planning to invite Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to officially open the conference.

“It is important for him and officials from the Justice ministry to be there, as we discuss the legislative agenda so that they also appreciate our efforts in the making of a health nation,” he said.

Health minister David Parirenyatwa is also expected to attend the meeting.

Delegates from the World Council of Optometry will also attend the globally recognised conference.

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