With thanks to The United States Agency for International Development (USAID): for 'School Eye Health in Sierra Leone', reaching 44,000 children and 988 teachers at 159 primary schools, within two years between 2019-2021. 

Goal: Demonstrate and develop guidelines for a school-based eye health programme that provide annual vision screening, eyeglasses, referral and treatment for children and teachers in Kenema district.

Objectives:

  1. Strengthen the primary eye care and refractive error services for children and teachers at the Kenema Hospital Vision Centre. 
  2. Establish regular screening, referral and treatment services in primary schools supported by eye health promotion and education. 
  3. Strengthen the Vision Centre to provide and deliver high quality eyeglasses. 
  4. Strengthen the national plans for a School based eye health strategy.  

Beneficiaries: 

The primary beneficiaries are the children and teachers at 159 government primary schools in Kenema. 44,000 children and 988 teachers will be screened by 300 trained teachers. We anticipate 4,400 children and 395 teachers will require a full eye test or onward referral for additional treatment. All students and their families will benefit from eye health education via a tailored behaviour change strategy, including sharing information on the radio, through school clubs and via community meetings.

Activities:

  • Ophthalmic Technicians and outreach staff will receive training so that they are able to examine, refract and refer children and teachers in primary schools. 
  • Teachers will be trained to screen, students will be refracted and counselled at vision friendly corners, and they will receive eyeglasses and/or are referred to non-surgical and surgical treatment. 
  • Support the Vision Centre to provide an uninterrupted supply of eyeglasses so that sustainability is improved by revenue earned.
  • VAO will gather information from this programme, including the monitoring of the use of eyeglasses, and develop a set of guidelines to present for adoption by the National Eye Care Committee.