PROJECT DRISTI: SCHOOL EYE SCREENING PROGRAM

Project Dristi

Nepal Health Corps – KUSMS (2022-23)

Background

Refractive errors are a known cause of visual problems in children which may lead to lay eye and blindness if uncorrected. New cases appear particularly between the age of 6-15 years.

Data from the National Blindness Survey of Nepal (1981) revealed refractive error in 1.3% of 39,887 people of various age groups. A similar study through “The Refractive Error Study in Children (RESC)” group reported refractive error as the leading cause for visual acuity lower than (20/40) 6/12.

Rationale

In a study conducted between 2018 and 2019 nearly 19.2% of 953 children in Kavre district were reported to have refractive error. The similar study also shows only44.5% of primary school childrens with refractive error were wearing glasses.In Nepal, there is no provision of vision screening programme for children on commencement of school so those with early onset refractive error have years of poor vision leading to weak academic performance. Early detection of cases helps in early correction and prevents long term complications like amblyopia and blindness.

In light of the severity of the current situation, we have devised our project “School Eye Screening” to detect refractive error and common ocular pathologies in children in Shree Azad Secondary School, Baluwa, Kavre.

Objectives

  • To conduct a workshop on eye health prioritizing refractive errors, amblyopia, corneal ulcers and strabismus in children.
  • To screen for refractive errors, amblyopia, corneal ulcers and strabismus of children of class 1 to class 12.
  • To educate teachers about basic refractive error monitoring.
  • To screen blood pressure among the staffs.

Activities

Awareness: Included demonstration and presentation on refractive errors, amblyopia, corneal ulcers and strabismus. Pamphlets and charts used during awareness session were later handed-over to the school on the mentioned topics.

Ocular Screening: The screening program was supported by the Ophthalmology Department, Dhulikhel Hospital. A team of optometrist, ophthalmic assistants, medical officers and NHC members applied a standard protocol for screening of refractive error and eye examination in guidance of the Ophthalmology department.

Demonstration to teachers: This included demonstration of testing visual acuity.

Blood Pressure screening among the staff: Making the maximum use of our time there at school, the team decided to monitor BP among the school staffs which gave us a gross idea about BP status and thus the requirement of screening for hypertensive retinopathy in future.

Results and Outcomes

Around 400 students were screened from Shree Azad Secondary School, Baluwa of age 5-18. Different eye conditions like myopia, amblyopia were also identified.

Partnerships

  • Ophthalmology department, Dulikhel Hospital
  • Ansumaran Foundation

Budget

The estimated budget required for the second phase of the project is as follows:

ItemsQuantityRateAmount (Rs)
Stationary
Pen
Chart Paper
Tape

20
5
2

20
15
50

400
75
100
Vision Charts101001000
Pamphlets Color
Printing
101001000
Communication1500500
Transportation1 day1200012000
Food and water152503750
TOTAL18825

Annex

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