229070 “Vision for All” Establishment of a vision screening program for primary school children in rural Kashmir: Results from 2066 primary school children

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 8:33 AM - 8:51 AM

Idrees Mian, Third Year Medical Student , School of Medicine, SUNY-Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Jean E. Ramsey, MD, MPH , Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
OBJECTIVE: To establish a cost-effective vision screening program for early detection of treatable vision impairment in primary school children in rural Kashmir. DESIGN & METHODS: ”Vision for All” program began in 2009 as a school based initiative. The program is modeled and modified based on the Massachusetts Vision Screening Program. The program was designed to provide free vision screening to primary school children enrolled in government-run public schools.Examinations were performed in two areas: Distance Visual Acuity Testing and Stereo Vision Testing. If a child fails screening an optometrist formally evaluates the child and a referral is made to an ophthalmologist. RESULTS: In the pilot program, 2066 primary children from 39 government-run primary schools were screened using the MASSVAT test. The children were aged between 4 and 12 years old. Preliminary Results as of December 2009 Primary Schools Screened 39 Grades Screened Kindergarten – Fifth Grade # of Children Screened 2066 Children failed screening 80 # of Children for whom Glasses prescribed 59 About 4% of school children screened were detected eye problems that required further additional testing by a ophthalmologist. Of the four percent who failed screening, 59(74%) required glasses. Cost of establishing the program was USD 729 (includes equipment and salary of optometrist for 6 months) CONCLUSIONS: Health education provisions and a cost-effective visual screening program at an early age in the elementary schools in rural Kashmir can provide an effective early detection and comprehensive vision care program in a population lacking adequate pediatric support.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe how the Massachusetts Vision Test can be used to effectively assess vision among primary care students in Kashmir, India.

Keywords: Underserved Populations, Vision Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was responsible for planning and implementing the program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.