I have recently returned from several advocacy meetings in Brazil. While there, I was able to meet with the SBO (Brazilian Society of Ophthalmology) and CBO (Brazilian Council of Ophthalmology), to investigate ways to work with the Ministry of Health to encourage municipalities to apply for government programs for vision correction of school children. It is our hope that current advocates in Brazil will utilize supportive evidence to embrace the changes necessary to make vision a priority.
At the Vision Impact Institute, we highlight evidence-based research on uncorrected refractive error and the benefits of healthy vision. The CBO and SBO have similar missions to improve access to eye care needs and ultimately, help people to see better. Our discussions focused primarily on children but there is still much more to be done to reach the burden of the population with uncorrected vision.
Currently, not all children are getting their eyes checked early enough in life. They are in need of eye exams before entering school, but this simply does not happen in every school system. Children must see to learn. These are foundational years for learning, and kids need to be given the tools to succeed at a level playing field. It is only fair to them and their future. The reality is 30% of children worldwide have uncorrected eyesight. As such, Brazil is not alone in this challenge.
Below, we are highlighting two research studies this month about the prevalence of low visual acuity in public schools and amblyopia and its prevalence in preschool children in Brazil. These studies show that early detection can make a significant difference in the lives of children. Healthy vision becomes a critical part of a child’s foundation for learning and future success. In addition to these local studies in Brazil, there is also global data on Children on the VII website that supports these findings.
PREVALENCE OF LOW VISUAL ACUITY IN PUBLIC SCHOOL’S STUDENTS FROM BRAZIL Read the study
AMBLYOPIA CARE AND PREVALENCE AMONG PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN Read the study
Following this visit to Brazil, we are even more committed to gathering evidence-based data on the impact of poor vision in children. You will see more supporting studies added to this site, specific to this cause. Please email me at email@example.com with your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.
Together we are giving vision a voice.