Fr. Jacob Poikathanickal (Sabu P.L) on behalf of Purvanchal Gramin Seva Samiti (PGSS)





To train teachers as childhood vision screeners in order to identify reduce refractive errors and vitamin A deficiencies in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India


The project

Uttar Pradesh is India's largest state and also one of its poorest. With 29% of the population living below the poverty line, there is a distinct lack of nutritional resources which results in vitamin A deficiencies and visual impairment among many children. 

Currently there are a lack of school vision screening camps due to limited community outreach funding in the Gorakhpur and Basti Administrative divisions in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Over the next three years, this project aims to serve 45,000 children in rural village schools by training 3,000 schoolteachers to conduct eye screenings, in order to identify and refer children with refractive errors, vitamin A deficiencies, amblyopia, strabismus, asthenopia, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

Furthermore, the establishment of a community base of volunteers, schoolteachers, local governments, religious leaders and influential persons by Fatima hospital Gorakhpur to support the project and ensure a sustainable long-term impact.

Project Update: During the first year of this project, 1,000 teachers were trained to conduct eye screenings and refer children to the base hospital when necessary. 9,328 children were subsequently screened in various schools within the project catchment area. Of these children, 1,974 were diagnosed with refractive error, 740 with Vitamin A deficiency and 48 were referred for further treatment/surgery due to a squint. An educational program and was also provided to teachers, so they can create awareness among parents of children with Vitamin A deficiency, educating them on the dietary adjustments required to overcome this condition.


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