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India is a country of 1.2 billion people. Over 25 percent of this population is of school going age (6-14 years). 1 The CREAM project is aimed at delivering eye care services to this group and creating eye health awareness amongst the school teachers.

Refractive errors and amblyopia (lazy eye disease) are the commonest serious eye diseases in this age group. It affects nearly 7-12 % children in the community. 2 The early detection and treatment of these eye diseases can very effectively prevent the visual impairment. The diagnosis of both these conditions is simple and the results of the treatment are dramatic.

Most of the children having uncorrected refractive errors in rural area have poor access to the eye hospitals. Also, the children usually do not complain of their poor vision upfront. Due to lack of awareness amongst the parents and school teachers only a handful of cases are detected at an early stage where appropriate treatment is helpful. The affordability of the spectacles is also an issue in rural areas and urban slums among the school going children when it is required the most.

School Screening Project of Jyotirmay Eye Clinic 2006:

A 3 year long school screening project is commenced by us on 1st July, 2006 with the following aims in the Phase 1:

  • To detect eye diseases in children before they can damage their vision irreversibly
  • Increase the awareness about eye diseases in children among the teachers and the parents
  • To find the different types of eye diseases common in children in our area
  • Further the science of Pediatric Ophthalmology by providing data on the accuracy & reliability of the eye tests used for community programme
  • To assess the cost-effectiveness of such a programme

This School Screening Project is a Community Programme in which we are focused to give eye care service to the needful children as well as creating awareness about the pediatric eye diseases in the community.

Usually screening programme is done by Vision Screening with the help of a vision chart but for children who are below 6yrs that is not sufficient hence we are using a test called Brückner Test. Our previous research published in American Orthoptic Journal in 2003 and recent research presented at the conference of the Asia Pacific Association of Ophthalmologists in June, 2006 at Singapore supports the conclusion that this test can be very useful to perform rapid evaluation of preverbal children in schools.

To achieve these goals, our programme is divided into three Phases. In Phase 1 all the English Medium Schools in Thane are being screened. In Phase 2 we target to screen all Vernacular Medium Schools and Preschools (Play groups, nursery and Kindergartens) and in Phase 3 we would begin screening in the schools situated in the rural area.

The children are screened by a qualified optometrist and a letter addressed to the parents is given which declares the result of the examination with some information on the common Pediatric Eye Diseases. A report of the entire school screening is submitted to the Principal within a week after the screening. A follow-up visit will take place after 4 months to evaluate the impact of screening.

This School Screening Programme is designed to help the community …….and it is self funded

 

THE NEW CREAM PROJECT 2015

Chapter Thane and Mumbai for more details CLICK HERE

Would you like to support this program?……..click here…….HELP…..