Eighty percent of classroom learning occurs visually.
CHILDREN'S VISION AND LEARNING
In France, 20% of children develop visual disorders before they enter primary school. While detecting visual problems in children is critical, a government-commissioned report shows some limitations in the current eye health system. As a result, more than 1 million 16-24-year-olds have never visited an ophthalmologist. Another study shows that 12% of primary school children in need of eyeglasses have uncorrected poor vision.
In this context, we work with national associations, professional bodies, governments, corporate philanthropy partners, and NGOs to grow evidence, awareness, and advocacy initiatives.
Globally, one in three children has a vision problem that could be corrected with a simple pair of eyeglasses. Uncorrected vision may lead to low school performance, long-term physical health issues such as vision loss, and impaired emotional and social development.
Schools and educational settings are often the first place a child’s vision problems are recognized. That’s why we work around the world with Ministries of Health, legislators, and school professionals to encourage school eye health screening programs and eye exams for children as a baseline for learning.
Uncorrected Refractive Error (URE) is the leading cause of visual impairment in children in Kenya. With only 20% of the total population having access to eye care services, a limited eye health system and an unequal distribution of eye care workforce, children are the most affected group.
In Kenya, we advocate for policy changes that are essential to improve and scale up the delivery of eye care services, including children. We recently welcomed the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Eye Health 2020-2025 released by the Kenyan Ministry of Health. We support local stakeholders, building evidence through the school eye health screening programs such as “MACHO BORA ELIMU BORA” in Nakuru County.
Half of Kosovo’s population is under the age of 25, and 27% is in the 0-14 age group. It is estimated that 12% of school-aged children in Kosovo suffer from uncorrected vision disorders. Eliminating poor vision in school-age children must be a priority for the ongoing and future development of Kosovo.
In Kosovo, we work with local NGOs and vision industry leaders to bridge the gaps in research and support the government with evidence in adequate planning for eye care services in children.
In the US, more than 12.1 million children have some form of vision problem, according to research from Prevent Blindness. And 40% of US schoolchildren with learning disabilities also have vision issues.
In 2016, in partnership with Optometry Giving Sight and other organizations, we launched Kids See: Success, to advocate for better policies requiring eye exams for school-age children. In several states, we provide evidence-based research to support advocacy efforts alongside partners such as the American Optometric Association’s state affiliates, NGOs, local associations and grassroots advocates.