“We Can See!”Children’s Vision Around the World Dr. Ian Berger Production by Vasu Mistry I n t e r p r o f e s s io n a l F o s t e r i n g o f O p h t h a l m i c C a r e f o r U n d e r s e r v e d S e c t o r s Corpus Christi, Texas
Vision 2020 The current World HealthOrganization Global Initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness
For children, the prevalence of blindness is 0.5 –1 per 1000children, or one child aged 0 – 15 years goes blind every minute
Vitamin A deficiency,xerophthalmia, is worldwidethe most common cause of childhood blindness
Traditional healers use herbal medicines, juice of squeezed plant leaves, lime juice, kerosene, toothpaste, breast milk and urine (either animal orhuman). The child in the upper right photo suffers from chemosis, a reaction to the traditional medicine.
Though not Though notblind, per blind, perse, some se, some180,000,000 180,000,000children childrenaround the around theworld are in world are inneed of need ofvision visioncorrection, correction,that is, that is,need needeyeglasses. eyeglasses.
Children’s Children’svisual visualdisabilities disabilitiesseriously seriouslyhamper hampertheir ability their abilityto learn -- to to learn -- toread -- or read -- orto perform to performphysically, physically,e.g., to kick e.g., to kickor catch a or catch aball. ball.
Approximately one out of every tenchildren need prescription eyewear, yetin developing countries, especially inrural areas, one rarely sees a childwearing glasses, even in a relativelylarge group. Both GEOGRAPHICALand FINANCIAL ACCESS to primaryvision and eye care for children arelimited for hundreds of millions ofchildren around the world.
Vision care personnel Vision care personnelshortages leave many shortages leave manychildren behind, unable to children behind, unable toattend school. attend school.
Learning Learningmay be may beinhibited in inhibited inboth bothparents and parents andchildren childrenwhen whenneither neitherhave clear have clearvision! vision!
The main objective for The main objective forchildren’s vision care, children’s vision care,however, is to enable however, is to enablechildren to see clearly, and children to see clearly, andthat means dispensing that means dispensingeyeglasses to accurately eyeglasses to accuratelycorrect errors of refraction correct errors of refraction(focusing light). (focusing light).
Vision care begins with measuring visual acuity in each eye.
Near vision must also be assessed in order todetermine whether children can see up close toread.
Refractive error correction can then be measured with aFOCOMETER
The FOCOMETER is simple The FOCOMETER is simpleto use, does not require to use, does not requireelectricity, and is locally electricity, and is locallyaffordable, yet provides a affordable, yet provides ahighly accurate prescription highly accurate prescriptionfor myopia for myopia(nearsightedness), hyperopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia(farsightedness), and (farsightedness), andastigmatism (distortion in astigmatism (distortion invisual image due to a visual image due to anonspherical cornea). nonspherical cornea).
The FOCOMETER in usedThe FOCOMETER in usedby children in 40 countriesby children in 40 countriesaround the world.around the world.
Eyeglasses can then be prescribed even in remoteEyeglasses can then be prescribed even in remoteand medically underserved communities.and medically underserved communities.
During a vision exam, During a vision exam,problems other than refractive problems other than refractiveerrors may also be detected in errors may also be detected inchildren … children …
… such as “Acanthosis nigricans,” evidence of insulin … such as “Acanthosis nigricans,” evidence of insulinresistance – a major risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes, a resistance – a major risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes, aleading cause of blindness that can be prevented if leading cause of blindness that can be prevented ifaffected children take precautions against obesity and affected children take precautions against obesity andglucose (sugar) consumption. glucose (sugar) consumption.
Children found with symptoms of vitamin A deficiency canChildren found with symptoms of vitamin A deficiency canalso be treated (with a therapeutic dose of vitamin A and aalso be treated (with a therapeutic dose of vitamin A and agood protein rich meal) during a community vision caregood protein rich meal) during a community vision careprogram run by volunteers.program run by volunteers.
In partnership with the In partnership with theWorld Health Organization World Health Organizationand the International and the InternationalAgency to Prevent Agency to PreventBlindness and Visual Blindness and VisualDysfunction, InFOCUS has Dysfunction, InFOCUS hasaddressed this issue by addressed this issue bytraining non-eye care training non-eye careprofessionals, teachers, professionals, teachers,community health workers, community health workers,volunteers and missionaries volunteers and missionariesto deliver a high standard of to deliver a high standard ofvision care. vision care.
Teachers and others have learned to use the FOCOMETER,Teachers and others have learned to use the FOCOMETER,a device developed by InFOCUS to measure refractive errora device developed by InFOCUS to measure refractive errorand the eyeglass prescription needed.and the eyeglass prescription needed.
InFOCUS has recently trained primary school teachers in InFOCUS has recently trained primary school teachers inZhenghe, China to assess children’s vision and refer to Zhenghe, China to assess children’s vision and refer tooptometrists for eyeglass prescriptions. optometrists for eyeglass prescriptions.
Starting with a bunch of kids, eager to see clearly and to Starting with a bunch of kids, eager to see clearly and tolearn … learn …
… sorting out those who need to be refracted …… sorting out those who need to be refracted …
… measuring refractive error with a FOCOMETER …… measuring refractive error with a FOCOMETER …
… and dispensing eyeglasses … and dispensing eyeglasseswith the correct prescription to with the correct prescription tothose who need them! those who need them!
Happily,eyeglassesmanufactured indevelopingcountries likeChina and Indiaare inexpensiveand affordable.Only a visionexam needs tobecome availableto all who needone. TheFOCOMETERmay make thispossible.
IIcan see clearly now can see clearly nowthe food must fall … the food must fall …Thank you for your rapt Thank you for your raptattention !! attention InFOCUS InFOCUS