Cookies

Like most websites The Ophthalmologist uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. Learn more.
Business & Profession Health Economics and Policy

Reality Check

In a quick office poll, 60 percent of my co-workers declared that they have been for a professional eye test within the last two years – a percentage that should be closer to 100 given guidelines, the number of people sitting in front of computer screens, and the relative ease of accessing eye tests.

Screening children’s vision is even more important. And though children in developed countries are likely to have their vision checked multiple times, increasing the chances of resolving any issues by the critical age of 4-5, the situation looks very different in developing countries. In India, there are currently no formal national vision and eye screening guidelines for children (1). In Nepal, children’s eye screening relies on the work of volunteers.

Ophthalmologists certainly provide invaluable support in regions struggling to provide appropriate eye care; nominations to the Champions of Change category in our recent Power List (2) prove that point, as does our recent feature on ophthalmology in remote locations (3). But is there any way we can all do more?

I recently spoke to Rahul Ali, Country Director for Orbis India. He told me about the largest national network of Children’s Eye Centers in the world – 33 in 17 states – which Orbis created, and about the Refractive Error Among Children (REACH) program that started in India in 2016, and is now being implemented in Nepal.

Ali also stressed how important comprehensive school-based screening is for children’s education and future prospects – and for simply allowing them to enjoy being children. Seven-year-old Rabi from Nepal was diagnosed with myopia through an Orbis-supported screening program; his teacher immediately noticed how much more outgoing and interactive he became when his vision problems were properly addressed. When my son was recently asked what he wanted to be, he replied incredulously: “A kid!” – and with corrected vision Rabi is now able to fully embrace childhood.

Orbis is currently fundraising for the See My Future appeal (4), which aims to provide screening for 300,000 children in Nepal. I want to help change the eyecare landscape in Nepal – even in the smallest way – and I hope you will, too.

Enjoy our FREE content!

Log in or register to gain full unlimited access to all content on the The Ophthalmologist site. It’s FREE and always will be!

Login

Or register now - it’s free and always will be!

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine
Register

Or Login via Social Media

By clicking on any of the above social media links, you are agreeing to our Privacy Notice.

  1. SG Honavar, “Pediatric eye screening – Why, when, and how”, Indian J Ophthalmol, 66, 889 (2018). PMID: 29941725.
  2. “The Power List 2019”, The Ophthalmologist, 64, 16 (2019).
  3. “Off the Beaten Track”, The Ophthalmologist, 62, 16 (2019).
  4. Orbis, "See My Future" (2019). Available at: tinyurl.com/y5x8qc8m. Accessed April 15, 2019.

Related Events

-

AAO

San Francisco, USA

-

Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is 2020

Orlando, Florida, USA

Newsletter

Send me the latest from The Ophthalmologist.

Sign up now

Related Articles

Subspecialties Cornea / Ocular Surface

The Route to K-MAP

| Emilio de Almeida Torres-Netto, Nikki Hafezi

Subspecialties Cornea / Ocular Surface

A Meeting of Minds

| Sponsored by Allergan

Subspecialties Refractive

Three Years of Patient Outcomes? There's an App for That

| Sponsored by Rayner

Register to The Ophthalmologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine

Register