In the summer of 2018, 20/20 Vision For All chose to screen Prashanti Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School and Women's College, as the institution fit our criteria since it was identified to be at risk for visual neglect. In total 122 individuals were screened, aged 6 to 24. As our first screening camp ever, it provided insight into what sort of demand there was for eye care. As it turns out, the demand ended up being very significant.
At Prashanti Vidya Mandir, 122 students were screened and ultimately 27 needed to follow up with an optometrist to be fitted for glasses (see fig. 1). At this point the program functioned differently since it was still in its infancy. Students who struggled to work through the eye chart were given a slip to receive free treatment at a local optometrist's. This meant that the responsibility to follow up was on the guardians of the children, not on the program itself.
In total 22 students followed up with the optometrist, of which 4 children required no glasses. While these numbers are still very impressive, especially considering the program was just beginning, it was still cause for concern since 5 students did not follow up due to familial restrictions (see fig 2). While the program did follow up in 2019 and got 2 students glasses from the list, 3 had left the school and were unable to receive free eye care from the program.
Figure 1: The pie chart to the left is the general breakdown of students who received screening at Prashanti Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School and their outcomes. 78% of students required no further check-up, 15% ultimately needed glasses.
Figure 2: The pie chart to the right is the outcomes of students who required further treatment from Prashanti Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School. Of the 27 students who needed care, 23 followed through and 18 (67%) ultimately needed care.
The program learned a lot from this experience. It provided a bench mark of what percentage (20%) of students require glasses or prescription adjustments in Indian schools of lower socioeconomic status.
This eye screening camp made it very clear that this was an issue that was highly neglected in Indian schools since such a high percentage of students needed eye care.
It also led to one major improvement for the following year: the inclusion of the autorefractor and onsite prescription detection.