Blindness bring sorrows and grief to the life of a person regardless of the stage he is in; however the burden become more unbearable when it occurs at an early stage of life. Imagine a child who got refractive error and left undetected, untreated or uncorrected. His future becomes uncertain in terms of education and socioeconomic development! No doubt, he will face hardships and adversities that, may be, leave him in a life full of deprivation and destitution. The main cause of visual impairment in children is uncorrected refractive errors. The majority of parents and even school teachers have very little knowledge about these errors and their short and long time consequences. These errors may lead to amblyopia which turns into blindness in children. Despite the fact that refractive error in children is one of the priorities of the World Health Organization, till now there is no study done at the national level in Bangladesh to know the rate of prevalence of this error among the school children. Al-Basar International Foundation made a significant contribution in this aspect along with rendering treatment to children facing any kind of eyes diseases.
The project sketched to examine 200,000 students in 200 + schools in Dhaka to discover the visual problems and manage them at our specialized eye hospitals through comprehensive treatment, surgeries, medicines, eyeglasses, and other forms of medical care and also providing a statistics to the government to take the necessary initiatives in this regard.
To reach out to 200,000 students, 247,180 enrolled students in 322 schools had been targeted. 471 teachers from different school had been trained. During the period from September 2014 to October 2016 we could complete the screening of 203,851 students in 322 schools.
It is revealed that visual impairment seen more in the city 7.17% than urban 3.99% and rural 3.13% area. The reason remains unknown and need further assessment.
During the program period some parents refused to get their children operated, out of fear of adverse effects or wanted to wait till the end of the academic year. Social counselor visited those families to explain the importance of those operations for their children and convinced to have the surgery done at their convenient time.
The rate of eye problems among the school children in Bangladesh is relatively high compared to other countries, which affects sights among schoolchildren and reflects negativity on their academic achievement and self-development.
The action plan of the program involved selecting the schools, choosing a group of teachers to receive training in measuring vision at school set up and detect eye abnormalities to refer to an eye hospital. Record every students’ information in a codeing sheet. Holding training courses for the medics of Al-Basar International Foundation, who are responsible for the implementation of the program, and holding a specialized course on data entry and statistical analysis using the SPSS software.
This health program is the result of an agreement signed in November 2014 by Al-Basar International Foundation, QRCS and the Islamic Call Organization.