School-Based Approaches to the Correction of Refractive Error in Children

  • The World Health Organization estimates that 13 million children aged 5–15 years worldwide are visually impaired from uncorrected refractive error.

  • School vision screening programs can identify and treat or refer children with refractive error.

  • The study concentrates on the findings of various screening studies and attempt to identify key factors in the success and sustainability of such programs in the developing world. .

  • Inadequately corrected refractive error is an important global cause of visual impairment in childhood.

  • School-based vision screening carried out by teachers and other ancillary personnel may be an effective means of detecting affected children and improving their visual function with spectacles.

  • The need for services and potential impact of school-based programs varies widely between areas, depending on prevalence of refractive error and competing conditions and rates of school attendance.

  • Barriers to acceptance of services include the cost and quality of available refractive care and mistaken beliefs that glasses will harm children’s eyes.

  • Further research is needed in areas such as the cost-effectiveness of different screening approaches and impact of education to promote acceptance of spectacle-wear.

  • School vision programs should be integrated into comprehensive efforts to promote healthy children and their families.

Publication date

November 2, 2020


Survey of Ophthalmology


Abhishek Sharma, Nathan Congdon, Mehul Patel, and Clare Gilbert
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