Cambodia: A lesson to save sight

The Fred Hollows Foundation has announced a partnership with Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, to create the country’s first ever eye health education plan for primary schools.
 
  • Eye health education to reach over 650,000 children
  • Encourages better eye care at earlier age
  • Will ensure children missing out on education receive eye care they need
A four year program will target schools across five provinces, including Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom, Kandal and Prey Veng – with a focus on raising awareness of eye health problems and preventing future vision loss.

The program will see a range of activities conducted from now until 2015 including the development of an eye health education curriculum. This curriculum will be supported by 15 national trainers and a further 120 provincial trainers - with the end result being that over 12,300 teachers and 650,000 school students will learn vital information about eye health that could save themselves or a family member from a life of blindness.

A recent study by The Fred Hollows Foundation found that over 91 per cent of visual impairment among school children in Cambodia was due to refractive error, with approximately 6.5 per cent of children tested experiencing difficulties. The vast majority of children tested who required spectacles for correction had not received early intervention.

It is hoped that the eye health education plan will improve awareness and ensure that treatment is provided early so that students are not disadvantaged during their school years due to poor vision.

Following the initial trial, it is hoped that the eye health education curriculum will be implemented nationally. 

The project is in line with Cambodia’s National Eye Health Strategy for the Prevention of Blindness and supports the World Health Organization’s Vision 2020 goal of eliminating avoidable blindness by the year 2020.

The Fred Hollows Foundation has been working to help improve eye health at national, provincial and community levels since 1998. The Foundation’s programs currently service around half of the population of Cambodia.

Learn more about The Foundation's work in Cambodia.
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