School Eye Health Programme(SEPH)

Refractive error remains the second largest cause of visual impairment despite the fact that a simple pair of glasses can provide the correction. Uncorrected refractive error in school children can not only lead to amblyopia and loss of vision, but also affects the academic output of the child and eventually his economic productivity.

Lack of refractive services or a lack of access to them compounds the issue in most developing countries. Previous studies have shown reasons for low uptake of corrective services to include inadequate access to services and the lack of affordable corrections. In Pakistan, 4% of the children below the age of 15 have refractive error and this age group constitutes 40% of the country’s population. The effort in extending refractive services to these populations should be designed for creating a significant impact.

This research intends to study the costs and benefits of providing refractive screening and spectacle dispensing services to the school children in Pakistan and Nigeria.

The overall objective of the project “is to improve quality of life and educational capabilities by eliminating blindness and visual disability due to uncorrected refractive errors in school children of district/state of Pakistan and Nigeria”

The specific objectives/purpose of the project is that “the prevalence of eye disease and refractive error decreased among children at community level. (age group 5 to 12)“. It will be achevied through following results.

  • Result 1: Adequate eye care services available at community level (schools & communities) through vision van
  • Result 2:  Behavior and attitude of communities especially school going children and parents towards eye care changed through holding health promotion and education sessions at community level
  • Result 3: Trained staff available  at school and community level
  • Result 4: Operational research on uncorrective refractive error & advocacy with government, ministries and ophthalmological society done