The Naddar Ati Project provides access to free vision screening and high quality, affordable eyeglasses for schoolchildren in the Marrakech region, with the intention to scale the project nationally. The project is an adaptation of a similar successful program created by the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India.
Clear vision is vital for children to be able to learn, to play, and to participate in the world around them. The Moroccan Ministry of Health states that there is a pressing need for more efficient and effective school vision screening programs. To address this need, ACCESS Health Morocco organized a delegation of key Moroccan experts in eye care to visit our partners in India. The intent was to share knowledge of how Indian eye care hospitals deliver quality, high volume eye care services at an affordable cost and to identify strategies that could be applied to improve eye care services in Morocco.
Inspired by this visit, ACCESS Health Morocco collaborated with the Ministries of Health and Education and other partners to develop the Naddar Ati Project. The pilot project involves schools in the Marrakech district. Naddar Ati, which means “My Glasses,” supports the efforts of the Ministry of Health to develop a new model for a school based vision screening program.
The project consists of three components:
Initial screening: Teachers are trained to screen children for near and far sightedness. The teachers screen the children in their classes and educate students about proper eye care.
Medical screening: Ophthalmologists and optometrists visit the schools on a regular basis and prescribe glasses for those in need.
Access to affordable glasses: The government subsidizes the cost of the glasses. Glasses are purchased from high quality, low cost suppliers in Morocco and elsewhere.
If the Naddar Ati pilot is successful, ACCESS Health Morocco will work with its local partners to expand the project to schools throughout the country.