Health and Community Services
May 25, 2010
The following statement was given today in the House
of Assembly by the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and
Minister Recognizes Vision Health Month
I rise in this Honourable House today to recognize Vision Health
Month, which is designed to raise awareness about the importance of
safeguarding vision health and promoting good eye health.
More than 836,000 Canadians are living with some form of vision loss,
which includes approximately 15,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. An
additional 4.25 million Canadians have some form of age-related macular
degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts — and if left
untreated most will be at risk of significant vision loss.
A regular eye exam remains the best form of early detection and
prevention to help control and treat eye disease.
I would like to encourage my Honourable Colleagues to think about
vision health all year-round, but especially this week, as Thursday has
been designated "Shades of Fun Day" by the CNIB — who have provided all
members with a pair of sunglasses today. Everyone is encouraged to slip
on these sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
The CNIB offers an important service for people in our province who
lose their eyesight or live with partial vision. They provide
specialized services for people of all ages, including support and
training on independent living skills, assessment and training on the
use of low vision aids to compensate for vision loss, safe and
independent mobility both within and outside the home, access to a wide
variety of consumer products, training in assistive devices, early
intervention services for children and access to one of the world's
largest lending libraries of books in audio, braille or e-text. CNIB
challenges conventional attitudes pertaining to vision loss, delivering
a progressive message about ability, not disability.
The Williams Government recognizes the importance of vision health,
and proves that commitment through an annual grant of $664,200 to the
CNIB to help support rehabilitation and blindness prevention programs.
As well, just recently, our government invested $200,000 in the CNIB to
help the organization expand its programs and enhance services for those
who have been referred to the CNIB for vision rehabilitation in rural
Newfoundland and Labrador.
I encourage everyone to get regular eye exams, care for their eyes by
wearing sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection, and learn more
about protecting their own vision.
2010 05 25 1:45 p.m.