Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen addresses the official opening ceremony for the Vision and Resource Centre at the Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB) at its Hope Road headquarters on Thursday (January 26, 2017). Seated right is Mr. Ian Campbell, a volunteer with JSB. 
Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has described the opening of the Vision and Resource Centre at the Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB) as “another point of light which can guide more of our citizens into a brighter future.”  He was speaking on Thursday (Jan. 26) at the official opening of the new facility located at the JSB complex on Old Hope Road.  
 
Their Excellencies Sir Patrick Allen (L) and Lady Allen (2nd L) cut the ribbon to officially open the Jamaica Society for the Blind’s Vision and Resource Centre. The Japanese Ambassador His Excellency Masanori Nakano (R) and Mrs. Nakano look on.
The Governor-General who is Patron of the Jamaica Society for the Blind commended the Embassy of Japan, the National Health Fund and the many Foundations, multilateral organizations and individuals who have so far contributed in excess of J$20 Million to construct and equip the centre.  “Many of you knew that establishing this centre would be challenging in a society with competing priorities but you believed in the rightness of the cause and inspired others to support it,” Sir Patrick Allen said.
 
Sir Patrick Allen (seated right) gets the pressure in his eyes tested on the Slit Lamp at the Jamaica Society for the Blind’s Vision and Resource Centre. He is assisted by Miss Mayanna Francis, Optometry Services Officer, as Japanese Ambassador His Excellency Masanori Nakano looks on.
He particularly had high praises for the University of the West Indies Medical and Dental Class of 2017 for recognizing that the Vision and Resource Centre is a worthwhile project deserving of their support.
 
In his address, Japanese Ambassador His Excellency Masanori Nakano said that as one of Jamaica’s longstanding development partners, the Government of Japan is fully aware of the importance of health to social and economic well-being.  “It is our strong hope that this new facility will contribute significantly to the protection of people with high risk of weak sight and low vision and, moreover, enable them to fulfil their dream of a better tomorrow,” he stated. 
 
The Vision and Resource Centre will provide screening and refractive services as well as assessment and counseling to persons who are visually impaired.  Special attention will be given to persons with low vision who, though not legally blind, have vision impairment that cannot be corrected by visual aids, surgery or medicine.  
 
Close to 100,000 persons in Jamaica are affected by sight related conditions, some of which are preventable.