Thirty more teachers have been trained to screen the eye health of school children in Kabwe District, in the central province of Zambia.

The one-day session saw teachers being trained by eye health professionals from the Eye Department of the Kabwe Central Hospital. They were taught about eye health, refractive errors and eye testing, eye health promotion in schools and helping students with poor eye health.

Teachers were given a chance to practice their new skills on each other, using a 6m reading chart and were given pen torches for eye examinations, 6m reading charts and measuring tapes, to help them conduct screenings.

One primary school teacher who took part in training at the end of last year is Alice. She said that before her training, as a teacher: “Sometimes we just notice some pupils that like to sit in front of the class and those that squint their eyes when reading and we don’t really pay much attention as to why they behave like that.”

After her training Alice realised that teachers have a responsibility to educate their pupils and encourage them to take part in the eye screening. 

Teachers like Alice can also act as an advocate to help educate their wider community about the importance of eye health.

In total 171 teachers have now been trained and they will be conducting screening exercises later this month.

After teachers have identified students with eye problems Mobile Eye Screening teams from local hospitals will visit the schools to provide further eyecare, glasses, medication and further referrals where needed.

The training is part of a part of a National School Eye Health programme, which aims to screen the eye health of every school child across the country.

According to the World Bank “a simple and low-cost solution for most children with visual impairment is to provide eyeglasses through school eye health programs”.

 

To find out more about our work in Zambia click here.

To read more about our school eye health work click here.