Four million children to benefit from East Africa project
20 November 2012
We're launching the first of our five US$5mn projects to tackle children's eye-health around the world. The new four-year project will strengthen children's eye-care across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, reaching four million children.
Why are we focusing on East Africa?
There is a high need in this region for quality eye-care for children. At present, there are over 1.4 million blind children in the world. In East Afria, there are thousands of children who are unnecessarily blind from avoidable or treatable causes and many more who suffer visual impairment.
Professor Kovin Naidoo, Chairman of IAPB said: "The impact of blindness and visual impairment on children is far greater than for adults, as children have their whole lives before them," he explained. "In terms of the impact on reducing years lived with disability, curing a child of blindness is, on average, equivalent to curing 10 adults with cataract surgeries."
How are we going to help?
By working with 15 different local organisations, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education in each country, the project will train doctors, nurses and community workers to identify and treat blindness and visual impairment in children. It will put in place the infrastructure to ensure the facilities are in place to enable health staff to do their job and improve overall coordination of child eye-health delivery.
The project will develop a school eye-health programme for 6-15 year olds so that eye-care problems can be identified through the education system. The project will also increase awareness on child eye-health among communities.
The project will:
- Help 4 million children directly benefit through screening and treatment
- Give 5,908 children the surgeries they so desperately need
- Educate 7 million children on the importance of eye-health
- Enhance and establish 82 eye-care clinics in hospitals across the region
- Train 8,840 people in child eye-care.
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