Doctors to Promote Vision Tests to Parents of Struggling Students

BY Rachel Cagle
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Children with visual impairment are lagging behind in both school enrollment and learning outcomes, according to new research from the World Bank and the EYElliance, which provide vision screening and eyeglasses to children in schools, are a simple solution.

The study, Looking Ahead: Visual Impairment and School Eye Health Programs, finds that after controlling for other factors affecting educational outcomes, children with visual impairment are on average five to seven percentage points less likely to ever enroll in school, complete their primary education, and be literate than children without disabilities.

"Ensuring that children with visual impairment have the same opportunities to go to school and learn as other children is essential to reduce learning poverty, which is the inability to read and understand a simple text at age 10," said Quentin Wodon, World Bank lead economist and co-​author of the study. "A simple and low-​cost solution for most children with visual impairment is to provide eyeglasses through school eye health programs."

School eye health programs have been successfully piloted in many countries. They consist of three major activities: (1) school-​based vision screening, typically by teachers or nurses; (2) school-​based eye exams and referrals for more serious conditions; and (3) eyeglasses delivery or advanced treatment as needed. While some children with visual impairment require customized glasses or advanced treatment, typically most children needing glasses can have their vision corrected with ready-​made or ready-​to-​clip glasses within a matter of minutes. Randomized control trials suggest that correcting vision impairment improves student learning.

If Parents of Children 6–9 are struggling in school, they may do some research to figure out how they can help. According to AudienceSCAN, within the last month, 32.1% of these parents used the internet to research health or medical information, and 16.8% say that the health and wellness section is their favorite part of blogs, magazines and newspapers.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on optical stores/​optometrists and pediatricians, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.