Project: Giving Sight to School Children in Zambia

Now Prairie EyeCare Center and Optometry Giving Sight takes us to Africa.

Project: Giving Sight to School Children in Zambia

Zambia is one of the world’s poorest countries, with an estimated 67% of the population living in abject poverty. Refractive error has been identified as the most common cause of vision impairment in Zambia, significantly affecting school performance in children.

Project Objectives:

The aim of this project was to provide refraction and low vision services to an estimated 5,000 school children in the southern province of Zambia. The project supports a National Eye Health Plan, addressing the impact of refractive error on children’s education by improving vision care for children.

Project Delivery:


Funds provided by Optometry Giving Sight have helped to train teachers at district levels to deliver vision and eye health screenings and identify those in need of refractive services. Children are referred to the district ophthalmic team where necessary.

Project Outcomes to April 2009*:

  • 512 teachers have been trained to provide screenings to school children.

  • 56,296 children have been screened from 510 schools.

This program has demonstrated the importance of a comprehensive program of vision care in Zambia and how teachers can successfully be trained and mobilised to deliver an eye health plan.

“Now, once a term I screen the pupils for eye problems, but as well as this, pupils come to me – at least one a day – with an eye problem. The most common is refractive error”, said Beauty (pictured below), a teacher. “Since we’ve started doing the screening here people have spectacles if they need them – I can see their performance improve and they are more interested in lessons – it has really helped this school a lot.”

 

Project Partners:

This program is implemented in conjunction with: Sightsavers International; Ministry of Health, Zambia; Ministry of Education, Zambia.

Call Prairie EyeCare Center (308)872-2291 to give to Optometry Giving Sight.

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