International Pediatric Program
Whether by providing screenings, glasses or surgeries, we believe that each child should receive the same educational and life opportunities as their peers. CBI’s International Pediatric Program operates in 4 countries on 4 continents and seeks to primarily identify students with vision problems using various screening procedures and secondarily to assist in restoring sight to those children with vision problems via either refractive or surgical interventions. To date, CBI has supported the screening of over 650,000 school age children globally.
- 50-60% of children in developing countries will die within two years of becoming blind, usually due to injury or neglect.
- It is estimated that 80% of learning takes place visually.
Within eye care there is one problem that affects countries of all income levels: avoidable childhood blindness. While in low-income countries cases of childhood blindness are more common, children around the world are affected by refractive errors, or the simple need for corrective glasses. Regular and early school screening programs are one of the most effective ways to combat childhood blindness and can help identify refractive errors and eye conditions before they severely affect a child’s education. Without early identification and proper treatment, visually impaired children often perform poorly in school, in some cases causing them to drop out or be removed from school. Most eye problems are correctable and curable if caught by the age of five or six.
Child Surgeries Supported
School screenings increase community awareness of eye health. They help show that treatment is available, and reduce stigma associated with vision problems.
Our pediatric program focuses on refractive errors. Screening for refractive errors and providing glasses increases educational potential and reduces preventable visual impairment and blindness.
By treating a child’s visual impairment with eyeglasses or surgery, a child can receive 60 years or more of sight and opportunity. The earlier we treat, the longer a child can live a productive life with his or her sight.
80% of what a child learns is done visually. Without screenings and treatment for visual impairment, children do not have access to equal education and opportunities as their classmates.