Children’s ophthalmology screening bus in the poorest settlements

2024. 05. 10.

As part of the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service’s health promotion programme, one of Europe’s most modern ophthalmology screening buses visit the country’s poorest settlements. Thanks to the project, approximately 2,000 children can be examined each year, and those in need receive glasses for free. In the 2014-2020 programming period, the resources of the Human Resources Development Operational Programme contributed significantly to the implementation of health promotion and disease prevention activities among disadvantaged people.

The International Missionary Medical Team of the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service has been carrying out health screenings in the poorest regions of the country for years. Their mission is to detect and treat eye problems in children living in families in closed and isolated settlements in time, as childhood vision problems can often lead to behavioural, socialisation and learning difficulties. However, vision problems detected early can be very easily corrected at this age.

The charity service most often carries out screenings in schools and kindergartens, which are preceded by serious preparations. The first step is a pre-screening, which consists of four simple tests to check if someone has an eye or vision problem. If a child is affected, he or she is taken to the screening bus where an optometrist will perform a complete examination. If necessary, glasses are prescribed and made, and then sent to the children within a month, which is also a donation from the charity service.

During the screening, the ophthalmologist is also present via online video conference in order to be able to check the results of the tests. Children, who need further examinations, will be taken to a specialist and if needed, surgery will be arranged as well. Weekly visits are always made to different sites, often returning to settlements that have already been checked. This is important both for the follow-ups and to ensure that the next generation is also screened.

Although the project was formally closed in December 2023, the tools and the professional background are available, so the staff of the Attila Naszlady Health Development Programme will continue to work in the areas of telemedicine medical care, the children’s ophthalmology programme, and the laboratory and drug supply center.

The majority of people in the catching-up settlements have no or very difficult access to health care. Although there are many children born in these villages, most of the doctors working there have no significant experience in child care. This project is a supplement to the investment component of the Attila Naszlady Health Development Programme No. EFOP-2.2.24-22-2022-00002, and in addition to the operation of screening programmes, it creates the conditions for drug dispensing and packaging centre as well as the laboratory human resources. The main elements of the programme are the provision of general practitioners’ services supplemented by mobile medical clinics in the catching-up settlements, the children’s ophthalmology screening and the medical laboratory and personalised medicines supply centre established as part of the Health and Logistics Centre in Bicske.


The program was implemented with European Union funding under the EFOP-1.8.24-22-2022-00002 project.

Find out more about the project in the Project Finder:Details



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