Sekuru Kaguvi Hospital Children’s Eye Unit established low vision services for the first time to support children with low vision.
A training on low vision was conducted at Sekuru Kaguvi Hospital Children’s Eye Unit from the 22nd to the 30th of August, 2016 under the Seeing is Believing Project. The training which was conducted by the CBM Global Advisor on Low Vision, Dr Karin VanDijk focused on building the capacity of the SKH staff (Ophthalmologists, Ophhalmic Nurses and Registrars) on clinical low vision care to enable the provision of basic low vision services at the eye unit.
The training was structured based on the recommendations from the assessment conducted at the eye unit on service provision, equipment and staff capacity requirements. During the training a number of low vision devices and tests were used in order to build the capacity of staff in prescribing the appropriate low vision device.
A person is said to have low vision if their sight cannot be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or surgery. Low vision in children interferes with their daily activities and in most cases it interferes with reading or writing. Many people are not aware that low vision can be corrected.
Previous statistics of children assessed at SKH – Children’s Eye Unit indicate a great need for low vision services. The eye unit was provided with a variety of optical and non- optical low vision devices. SKH – Children’s Eye Unit is a referral hospital providing eye care services for children with different eye conditions from all across Zimbabwe.
The team of Ophthalmologists and Ophthalmic Nurses will assess the children and test the remaining vision, based on the results of the assessment, they will prescribe the appropriate low vision device in order to improve the remaining vision.
A low vision data sheet will be used to collect data for all the children in order to follow-up and monitor use of low vision devices. Continuous mentoring will be provided by the CBM Low Vision Advisor in order to strengthen and improve the quality of service provision.
The access to spectacles and low vision devices has always been a challenge due to cost, unavailability of the devices and services. However, the establishment of low vision services for children at SKH will ensure that children obtain a good level of vision.