CURRENT PROGRESS OF THE PROJECT
October, 2015 to December, 2015
Childhood blindness and visual impairment are as important and perhaps more devastating and disabling than adult onset blindness, because of the long span of life still remaining to be lived. Refractive errors and more particularly myopia, place a substantial burden on the individual and society. School age children constitute a particularly vulnerable group where uncorrected refractive errors may have a dramatic impact on learning capability and educational potential. As we all know that 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.
The overall objective of the project by Khyber Eye Foundation “is to improve quality of life and educational capabilities by eliminating blindness and visual disability due to uncorrected refractive errors in school children of Peshawar and its surrounding areas.” The project team still working in out skirts of district Charsadda which is quite far away from populated area. Where hardly medical facilities are available for poor school going children. The team has so far visited 31 schools and screened out 1392 students, 321 teachers were trained to carry out vision of each students out of 1392 students, 921 students were diagnosed as refractive errors and were issued spectacles free of cost worth of $ 1230
Story of a young girl who had refractive error and how her life changed after she was issued spectacles by the project team.
Miss Aysha belongs to a small village of Charsadda and studying in class one in Government primary school Tangi Barazai 2. Her father is a carpenter and supports 8 of his family members within his meager source of income. The school eye health team visited GGPS Tangi Barazai 2 found a very shy girl setting in the corner of the class. The optometrist asked her teacher about her daily work routine, the teacher complaint that she is feeling difficulties studying and lack of confident because of her poor eye sight. Her father couldn’t take her to the hospital for the examination of her sight being a poor man. After listening all this, the optometrist carried out the check up Ayesha’s vision, the initial visual acuity was 6/60 in both eyes. Both eyes showed deviation which increased near target, the retinoscopy was performed and found that she had a refractive error of +3.00 diaptors in both eyes. When are refractive corrected and was issued glasses, her vision improved to 6/18 both eyes and her eyes deviation decreased to almost straight. Miss Ayesha has now gained her confidence back and enjoys her study as a regular student.
Khyber Eye Foundation very thankful to his donors for donating and request to donate maximum so that the future of poor school going children is secured.
Raised $ 2528
Remaining $ 46972
July, 2015 TO September, 2015
Refractive errors are the second major cause of blindness after cataract and the most common reason for patients to consult ophthalmologist or ophthalmic assistant. Over a quarter of the outpatient attendance at all eye clinics and hospitals is due to refractive errors(1). The availability and access of infrastructure, services, trained manpower, cost of spectacles, and community awareness is an area of concern. Pediatric ophthalmology, as a separate subspecialty, is not yet well established, and services targeting children are not often offered separately by ophthalmologists. Training to address ocular problems relating to children is not always a part of every residency program and very few institutions offer post-residency training programs in pediatric ophthalmology(2-5).
Children form one of the main age groups requiring attention to refractive errors because of the high prevalence of myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism. The ultimate molding of a person’s personality and potentiality rests with his nature, surroundings and quality of eye sight. The school going years are formative for children in determining their physical, intellectual and behavioral development. Poor vision in childhood affects performance in school and has a negative influence on the development and maturity. Further, most school children do not realize that they are suffering from the ocular disability as they adjust to poor eye sight in different ways. They compensate for their poor vision by sitting closer to the blackboard, or by holding their books close to their eyes. They may also squeeze their eyes. They may also tend not to undertake any work that needs visual concentration, thus affecting their performance(6).
MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM
It is estimated that there are 1.4 million blind children in the world. An additional 7 million suffer from low vision and a further 10 million children have a correctable refractive error causing visual impairment (refractive bilateral visual acuity of <6/ 18). Though no population based nation wide survey has been undertaken on the prevalence of blindness in Pakistan, is estimated to be 0.8/1000 children in the age group of0-15 years. Currently, there are an estimated 270,000 blind children in Pakistan(7,8). Most of the available studies demonstrate that corneal and lenticular conditions are the predominant causes of blindness whereas amongst children outside blind schools, refractive errors are important causes of visual impairment and blindness. Myopia is a common cause of visual impairment which is usually acquired and nearly always progressive. It rarely occurs before the age of 5 years and new cases appear throughout childhood and adolescence, particularly between the ages of 6 to 15 years.
School Eye Health program team of Khyber Eye Foundation is visiting remote areas of District Charsadda where the access of other medical teams is not even possible and carrying out screening of school going children and training of Teachers. The team has so far visited 29 schools and screened out 1242 students. 231 teachers were trained to carry out vision of each students, out of 1242 students 879 students were diagnosed as refractive error and issued glasses free of cost worth of 1160 $. The reason for visiting less schools was due to summer vacations. The future plan of project team is to start its program in District Nowshera, moreover all those students who have cataract problems are referred to Government’s hospitals for further operation / treatment.
The Story of a young boy who had refractive errors and how is life change after he was issued glasses by the project team.
Waqas is a student of KG class of government primary school Koda Khail, lives in a small village in District Charsadda, and belongs to a very poor family. His father is a laborer and supporting his six family members and has no other source of income. The project team visited GPS Koda Khail and received vision testing form from teacher and which found the name of Waqas, when asked from him as to how he used to do his class work from black board, he replied that he sit close to the board and do will his work, and was finding difficulty in reading as well as in writing, he never visited any doctor for eye checkup as his father could not afforded.
Optometrist carried out refraction of Waqas, before refraction his vision was CF 3 meter in right eye and CF 2 meter in left eye, after refraction his vision came 6/12 both eyes, when Waqas received his glasses from school eye health team, a broad / sweet smile came on his face because now he could see what ever is written on the black board, and finding no difficulty in reading.
Khyber Eye Foundation is very thank full to his donors for donating and request to donate maximum so that the future of poor school going children is secured.
Raised 2303 $
Remaining 47197 $
April, 2015 TO June, 2015
School children form an important large target group which must be screened adequately for early detection of eye diseases and prevention of blindness. Considering the fact that 30% of blind lose their sight before the age of 20 years and many of them are under five when they become blind, the importance of early detection and treatment of ocular diseases and visual impairment in young children is obvious. Vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers and one in four school age children. During a child's first 12 years, 80 percent of all learning comes through vision. And yet most children have not had a comprehensive eye exam prior to starting school. Majority of students identified as problem learners have undetected vision problems.
“Vision problems affect nearly 13.5 million children. Rates for vision problems increase as children age…a quarter of adolescents 12-17 are reported to have eye problems” "Poor vision in childhood affects performance in school or at work and has a negative influence on the future of the childVision problems have been shown to adversely affect a child’s achievement in school. Myopic children have trouble reading blackboard notes or other classroom presentation materials. Hyperopic children will have trouble reading or doing any kind of close work. Additionally, several types of eye disorders can lead to permanent visual impairment if not identified and treated early by an eye doctor. Vision problems can and do adversely affect students’ ability to function in and enjoy learning.
There is large evidence that many schoolchildren needing glasses do not get them because their refractive errors are not detected, which might not only hamper children's physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development, but also future employability and earning opportunities. Moreover, if refractive error is detected late the child can suffer from amblyopia (lazy eye)-a condition where vision remains low even after wearing the glasses. This condition can be treated only till 7 to 8 yrs of age, hence the importance of early detection.
The school eye health program team of Khyber Eye foundation has so far visited 69 school and screened out 29232 students 949 teachers were trained to carry out vision testing of each students, out of 4141 students 1509 were dignosed as refractive error and were issued glass free of cost worth of 2150 $
The story of a young boy who had refractive error and how his life changed after, he was issued glasses by the project team.
Hamid belongs to a small village of charsada. He is studding in government primary school chanchano mandani. He is the student of 4th class. His father is carpenter and support 8 family members. The school eye health team visited GPS chanchano and found a shy boy sitting in the corner of the class. When the optometrist asked his teacher about his daily work routine. His teacher complained that he is uncooperative and shy because his right eye is deviated. He lack confidence because of his low eye sight. After listening to his teacher’s complaint the optometrist carried out the checkup of Hamid. The initial visual acuity was 6/60 in both eyes. The right eye had deviation outward while the left eye was normal. Then retinoscopy was performed and found that he had a refractive error of -1.75 diopter in both eyes. When a refractive error is corrected and was issued glasses his vision improved to 6/18 in right eye and 6/6 in left eye. Hamid now has gained his confidence back and enjoy his study as a regular student.
Khyber Eye Foundation is now planning to start the project in District Nowshera in a days to come. We request our donors to donate maximum so that maximum poor children are benefited as we all know children are the future of any nation.
Raised: $ 2,253
Remaining: $ 47,247