This month, stories about groups and individuals working to expand access to vision care caught our eye.
The Portugal News Online ran a story highlighting the country’s efforts to set up a commission to draft a National Strategy for Visual Health. The strategy will be developed through the Ministry of Health by a committee that includes ophthalmologists and doctors.
This is good news for the Portuguese people. It gives the country a roadmap to provide its citizens with vision care services. It’s estimated that about half the country’s population suffers from changes in vision, ranging from a decrease in visual acuity to blindness, and that around 20 percent of children and half of the adult population suffers from significant refractive errors.
In another story on access, USAID reported on Malian teacher, Keita Kadiatou Doumbia, who is responsible for identifying children with vision impairment in her school. Through a program supported by USAID and implemented by Sightsavers, children identified with visual impairment then receive glasses and a reading stand to support their learning.
The story highlights Doumbia’s passion for inclusive education and her desire to see children with vision impairment integrated into school and society. The devoted teacher goes the extra mile in the classroom to write in large print and consider where the children are sitting in the classroom. She is also proud that her work reduces stigmas for parents when their children can stay in class with their peers.
We applaud teachers like Doumbia and organizations like SightSavers and USAID who are giving children what may be their only opportunity to receive an education.
Interested in keeping up with other stories we’re reading? Follow us on Twitter @VisionCost.