A global initiative was launched by the World Health Organization in 1999 to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. Childhood blindness is one of the top priorities in this program as blind children contribute more cumulative blind years than adults who become blind later in life. Approximately, 500,000 children become blind every year and 70 million blind person years are added each year due to childhood blindness. In India alone there are 270,000 blind children i.e. constituting approximately 19.0% of the blind population. ‘Visual disabilities in children’ including the ‘Childhood Blindness’ should be addressed through a comprehensive program approach. A recent study examined 6,935 children and estimated that the prevalence of childhood blindness was 0.17% (95% confidence interval 0.09 to 0.30) of which treatable refractive error caused 33.3%, followed by 16.6% preventable causes in which 8.3% due to vitamin A deficiency and 8.3% due to amblyopia after cataract surgery. Such reports reveal that 50% of blindness is avoidable. Most of the children population in India is in rural areas where awareness on the conditions causing avoidable childhood blindness is relatively unknown. Educating parents and teachers with adequate knowledge on these conditions would help in preventing the causes of visual impairment, early detection and early intervention of these conditions.
Citation: Korani J, Williams JD, Rose A, Khanna R (2015) A Prospective Study to Assess the Quality of Preliminary Eye Screening Done on School Children by Teachers in Andhra Pradesh. J Community Med Health Educ 5:342.