Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has announced results of the vision screening survey for school students for the year 2019-2020. The survey detected that rates of abnormal visual acuity (visual acuity less than 6/6) among government and private school students, were 12.24% and 21.34% respectively.
Dr Kholood al-Mutawa, head of the Non-Communicable Disease Section at the MoPH, explained that the survey was carried out by MoPH in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Primary Health Care Corporation, and included around 100,000 students from 166 government schools and 140 private schools.
Dr Shadi al-Ashwal, an ophthalmologist at MoPH, said that Qatar conducts this survey annually, indicating that school nurses should examine visual acuity and refer students who suffer from vision impairment to ophthalmologists at health centres to be examined and managed accordingly.
49% of the low vision causes are due to uncorrected refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Furthermore, children are more affected by this disease than others because their visual system is responsible for about 80% of what they learn. Therefore, improving vision contributes to improve their academic level and skills and prevents some complications such as lazy eye. MoPH celebrates today the World Sight Day 2020, with a theme of "Hope in Sight" and it aims to promote healthy eyes, and to provide early diagnosis and effective treatment for causes of blindness.