Our Children’s Vision Trinidad and Tobago (OCVTT)
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago implemented a screening program for eyes and ears for children in school. Children who failed the screening were then referred to optometrists for further testing. In the past, the program had been slow and ineffective in providing spectacles for impoverished children. Given that data has emerged demonstrating the significant prevalence of uncorrected refractive error – specifically myopia – changes are needed to improve care.
The Children’s Vision program began in early December, 2018 after receiving approvals from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education. Fourteen children were referred and examined in the first month, and nine were prescribed spectacles. The children referred ranged from uncorrected hyperopia with alternating esotropia to simple myopia. One five-year-old child with alternating esotropia had never had a full eye examination before. A couple of the children in the program were suffering with significant exophoria which was previously undetected by the government schools screening program.
As the program moved into the second month, we expected the numbers to increase as the schools were preparing for end of term exams and the Christmas holidays. We noted that only five of the seven schools targeted sent students to have their eyes examined.
The role of the project coordinator was critical and is defined for the Foundation as followed.
Description of the duties of the Project Coordinator
The Project Coordinator provides leadership financially, administratively and operationally for the Our Children’s Vision Trinidad and Tobago (OCVTT) Eye Health and Glasses program and must present a forward-facing role to existing and potential funders, collaborators, partners, and external institutions.
The duties of the coordinator included:
- Identifying the schools to be targeted
- Contacting schools and discuss pilot project
- Delivering letters on behalf of the Foundation regarding pilot project
- Responding to queries, disseminating information
- Collecting data from participants and practices
- Liaising with the Foundation regarding guidelines and standard operating procedures to ensure the Foundation’s reporting requirements are met
- Preparing monthly reports for the foundation
- Ensuring that all the necessary documents are collected from the patients and practice and submitted to the Foundation for payment
- Any other directions