Eye Care Will Reach Thousands of Children through Continued U.S.-Supported Project

Photo of a previous USAID-supported activity in Kon Tum Province.
USAID and HKI launched a new eye care activity at schools near Hanoi. Photo here is of a previous USAID-supported activity in Kon Tum Province.
Richard Nyberg/USAID

For Immediate Release

Monday, September 9, 2013

HANOI, September 10, 2013 -- About 10,000 primary and secondary students will receive vision screenings with those in need receiving quality eyeglasses under an extended, U.S.-supported activity launched today Quoc Oai, Hanoi.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through a grant provided to Advancing and Partners Communities/JSI and implemented by Helen Keller International (HKI)-Vietnam, the project will run through June 2014.

“We are pleased to extend our support for school children to Hanoi,” said USAID Mission Director Joakim Parker. “It is our hope that through screening, children will receive the assistance they need to see, succeed in the classroom, and contribute even more to the development of Vietnam as they mature.”

In addition to improving the vision of school children with screening for vision difficulties for 10,000 students in 16 primary and secondary schools, project staff will also train provincial, district and commune health personnel in vision screening and necessary equipment to improve eye health.

The new USAID-funded project will address gaps in the current eye health system in western districts of Hanoi and develop a comprehensive and sustainable system of care for children that can be adopted by the departments of Health and Education and Training and replicated throughout Vietnam.

Uncorrected refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism) are a significant cause of visual impairment, blindness and disability, especially in developing countries. It is estimated that one in five Vietnamese children suffers from refractive error, yet the vast majority remain undiagnosed and untreated. Left untreated, refractive error can worsen and may lead to blindness and irreversible vision loss, particularly in young children. 

First implemented in Kon Tum Province, HKI’s Childsight® program has provided services to over 32,000 students and about 37,000 additional school children will benefit the program in school year 2013-2014.

Attending today’s planning workshop were representatives from the Vietnam Institute of Opthalmology, Hanoi Departments of Health and Education, Ha Dong Eye Hospital, Quoc Oai Health Department, Quoc Oai General Hospital, the USAID Mission in Vietnam, beneficiary schools and HKI-Vietnam staff. Participants discussed the responsibilities of stakeholders, the project work plan, and planned monitoring and evaluation activities.

Last updated: August 05, 2014

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