A teacher’s experience of School Based Eye Health training, learning to conduct eye screening to identify children with poor vision.

Name:  Beauty

Country: Zambia

Profession: Teacher


Meet Beauty, a grade 7 primary school teacher. She lives in the Kafue District of Zambia, and has been a teacher for four years.

She has a class of 38 pupils and when asked about her work she said: “It makes me very happy to see a child I have taught breakthrough in life. It gives me a sense of fulfilment."

Did you know 80% of what a child learns is processed visually, and yet, 12 million children worldwide struggle to learn simply because they need glasses?

In 2019 Beauty took part in a School Based Eye Health (SBEH) pilot being run by VAO in partnership with the local Ministry of Health and Ministry of General Education. As part of the pilot teachers were trained to screen for eye problems, then Mobile Eye Clinic teams visited each school to treat the children identified, and where necessary, further referrals were made to for treatment at a hospital.

To read more about the results of this pilot click here.

Before the SBEH pilot Beauty knew very little about eye health. However, she did notice that some of her students had painful, itchy eyes and, as a result, struggled with their reading and writing in class.

 After the training Beauty said:

'It gave me a feeling that as a teacher, I am able to learn and do anything'.

Though her students joked that their “teachers have now become Doctors”, Beauty said:

'All the learners were coming to me wanting to be included on the list for screening, especially when they found out they would be able to get free glasses, if they needed them'.

As a result of the SBEH pilot Beauty found students stopped having eye problems and their performance at school improved.

Beauty also went a step further and raised awareness in the wider school community, through meetings with parents, to teach them about the importance of eye health and the need to wear glasses. This will help ensure that parents remind their children to wear their glasses consistently.

Find out more about our Child Eye Health work click here.