Eye Care Reaches Rural Schools In Bihar
In Bihar an estimated 4,56,000 children suffer from refractive errors.
Some estimates even say that 7 in 10 school-going children have an eye problem. The rural child is worst affected. It is even believed that more than 80% of these children population have never had an eye checkup in their lifetime.
Akhand Jyoti with support from Orbis is working towards making their eyes fit; fit to learn, fit to play, and fit to succeed through a unique and extensive ‘School Screening Programme’.
Orbis has been one of Akhand Jyoti's longstanding partners over the years.
It has helped Akhand Jyoti in strengthening its paediatric services, refurbishing and providing equipment to select vision centres, clinical and non-clinical trainings, procuring ophthalmic/ non-ophthalmic equipment and a Vision Van, in reaching out to the community for paediatric screening with support of spectacles and surgery to the needy.
Visual impairment in children is more devastating and disabling than adult-onset blindness. Due to a child’s longer lifespan, they suffer more when compared to an adult with similar problems.
This leads to discrimination and isolation of the child.
The kid also loses equal opportunities in childhood.
Further, the family’s wellbeing deteriorates. When a child’s vision malfunctions; education and participation in play suffers. Hence good vision is the key for children to succeed in school. This enables the next generation to blossom to their potential.
A simple prescription eyeglass can not only correct vision but enhance the learning capacity of a child.
Children do not complain of defective vision and may not even be aware of the problem.
However, genuine complains are many a time ignored by the parents, due to widespread ignorance and illiteracy. This warrants early detection and treatment to prevent permanent disability.
Bihar is the least literate state in the country. Further, there is a grave dearth of eye care providers in rural areas of the state.
This demotivates parents to travel great distances to access eye care services for their children. On top of this, parents are not able to take their child to a doctor, as it would mean sacrificing a day’s earning because they are mostly agrarians and daily wage earners.
Bihar has the lowest GDP per capita in the country.
The state lags in all aspects of poverty, health, education, and human wellbeing.
Bihar being a very densely populated state in India, door-to-door screening is not feasible. School screening is the best way to reach out to and identify children having eye problems.
Akhand Jyoti with support from Orbis is on a mission to screen school-going children in rural Bihar to correct their vision and give them an opportunity in life.
Every day our school screening team screens around 500 kids, 6 days a week.
A child detected with vision impairment is provided with spectacle or required surgical intervention completely free of cost.
The programme also generates awareness about the problem among the teachers and parents. This inspires them to take part in addressing vision impairment in children.
Special training sessions for teachers are organised to better capacitate them to identify children with vision problems.
The impact of the programme from July 2018 till February 2020 have been:
- 93,779 - Eye screenings done
- 527 - Schools covered
- 724 - Spectacles prescribed
- 476 - Spectacles distributed
Every year we intend to screen 200,000 children in rural Bihar.
Your solidarity to and advocacy for our programme is most crucial to us in reaching this goal.
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Help a kid see better today…
and secure the nation’s future tomorrow.