New guidelines aim to standardise eye care available in schools.
By: The Our Children’s Vision Team
School health programs are a unique opportunity to make sure over 700 million children have access to health care services – including eye health. A new set of eye care guidelines aims to standardize the quality of eye care children receive.
This breakthrough comes as a direct result of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) adopting standardized guidelines for school eye health programs for middle and low income countries.
The guidelines, originally developed by Our Children’s Vision, Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sightsavers International and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will deliver a unified approach to delivering eye care to children attending school.
Child eye health continues to be a significant public health issue that is often overlooked. The adoption of standardized guidelines pushes the Our Children’s Vision movement one-step closer to achieving quality eye care for all children.
“We believe that every child should have an eye screening for ocular health and vision, and those identified with any problem should then be examined comprehensively. These guidelines are a tool that will provide policy makers, health care and educational authorities, health planners, eye care delivery organisations and or professionals with the right knowledge to how eye health for children can be embedded into broader school health systems,” said Hasan Minto, Director of Programs for the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Our Children’s Vision.
“We are certain that when people have this tool they will be able to confidently implement school eye care programs or expand their existing programs. Which means more children will receive eye care,” he added.
The importance of children seeing clearly at school cannot be underestimated. Improving the vision of schoolchildren significantly contributes to their educational outcomes, and for those in low-income settings it results in an opportunity to break free of intergenerational poverty.
School health programs are a unique opportunity to make sure children have access to health care services. These guidelines provide a road map, covering topics from technology, training, need, planning and implementation.
Download the Standard School Eye Health Guidelines for Low and Middle-Income Countries.