Orbis’ REACH scheme tests 330,000 Nepalese children

Eye care charity Orbis collaborated with Nepal’s National Society of Comprehensive Eye Care (NNJS) to deliver eye health services to 969 children schools across Nepal through the REACH (Refractive Error Among Children) programme. 

Between 2019 and 2022, eye services tested 330,000 school children aged 6-18 years old for refractive error in the eastern Siraha and Parsa districts, with 6,476 spectacles prescribed and 3,083 children diagnosed and referred with other eye diseases. 

During the restrictions of the pandemic, Orbis adopted a door-to-door approach, which involved screening children within their homes. 

As a result, the government has embraced the need to integrate eye health into school health programmes across the country. 

Orbis UK head of programme funding Kate Gannon said: ‘This partnership with NNJS has helped to provide essential eye services to many children living in Nepal. It is through donations from our supporters and the UK government’s match funding that we have been able to provide our partners with equipment and training to deliver eye care to children within schools, the community and door-to-door, protecting their education and futures.’