The School Eye Health (SHE) component was set up in 2015 in partnership with a Dutch Foundation, Better Sight Better Learning (BSBL) and in collaboration with Signum Vitae and Sam Vision. The objective is to improve learning opportunities for school children affected by poor vision through the provision of spectacles and treatment of eye infections.
The project is designed to recruit on average 20 volunteer teachers per school who are trained to do basic vision screening on all students in the school. IFA’s School Eye Health Coordinator (SEHC), a practicing optometrist, and additional volunteer optometrists from Sam Vision then carefully screen the selected students for refraction errors, eye infections and eye referrals. Signum Vitae and Sam Vision provide subsidized spectacles for these students.
Each year 10 new schools are selected by the sub-city education bureau and previous schools are monitored and evaluated. On average 2% of students per new school need spectacles, 1% need treatment for eye infections and 4.6% need referral for suspected eye diseases. A proposal is now being put forward to make the project sustainable with the establishment of a mobile eye clinic.