Through the new programme, known as SHIP (school health integrated programming), teachers are trained to carry out eye screenings on their students. Children who are found to have vision problems are then referred to a team of trained optometric technicians for refraction and further treatment.
The programme, which is funded by the Dubai Cares Foundation, also aims to prevent specific disease disorders and injuries, support students with particular health care needs, and promote positive health. It has a target of improving the lives of more than 76,000 children in Bong, Maryland, Sinoe, and Grand Kru counties.
The launch event was attended by guests including the Senate Committee Chair on Education and Public Administration, the Senate Committee Chair on Health, the Ministers of Education and Health, the Deputy Minister for Administration, and representatives from the United Nations, civil society organisations and other national and international stakeholders in Liberia. As well as highlighting the importance of an integrated approach to health, the launch provided a forum for advocacy on the inclusion of SHIP in the national education sector plan as well as the country health plan.