Guidelines for school-based eye health programmes

A school student has her eyes tested while wearing optical glasses: an eye health worker's hand is changing the lenses in the glasses.

Child eye health is a significant public health issue, particularly in low-income countries, and requires well-integrated, innovative strategies to address the growing need.

The consequences of inaction range far beyond vision: it affects education, social participation and future economic productivity.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide direction to those planning and implementing vision screening programmes as a part of eye health initiatives within the education sector. These guidelines are intended for policy makers, educational and health care authorities, health planners, eye care delivery organisations and professionals, in partnership with teachers, parents and children. These guidelines take an integrated approach to school eye health, in which the ministries of education and health work together to ensure effective and efficient delivery of these initiatives.

These guidelines have been developed jointly by Sightsavers, the Partnership for Child Development (Imperial College London), Brien Holden Vision Institute, the International Centre for Eye Health (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education, drawing on the increasing body of evidence of the eye health needs of children and adults of working age, as well as examples of best practice.

The goal of these guidelines is provide technical guidance on how to develop a more comprehensive and integrated approach to school eye health. It is intended that this will result in improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of school eye health programmes to facilitate scalability and sustainability to improve health and education outcomes in children.

Download the guidelines in English (pdf)
Download the guidelines in French (pdf)

A young woman sitting in a group of people holds an eye test chart.

What is School Health Integrated Programming (SHIP)?

The SHIP project screens students for health problems such as poor vision and worm infections, and distributes spectacles and treatments where needed.

About the programme