Child eye health is a significant public health issue, particularly in low income countries like Ethiopia, where blindness is recognized as one of the major public health problems, and to this end a National Committee for the Prevention of Blindness (NCPB), chaired by the Ministry of Health (MOH) was setup.
There is a high prevalence of vision impairment among children in Ethiopia on whom it can have a devastating impact. A child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play; good vision is important for the visual tasks’ students perform daily such as reading, writing, chalkboard and computer work. When a child has poor vision, their education and participation in other activities suffers.
According to WHO’s 2012 report, more than 80% of all vision impairment can be prevented or cured. School health programs provide a unique opportunity for providing such preventive and curative services, and in many countries schools screening for URE is a routine practice. In Ethiopia School Eye Health (SEH) is a component of the National School Health and Nutrition Strategy and since 2015 IFA has included the School Eye Health as a component of the School Health and Nutrition program (SHNP) it is implementing. Through the SEH, IFA provides vision screening in primary schools to identify children with refractive errors and provide them with suitable spectacles.