Evidence indicates that school-based vision screening by trained teachers is an effective way of identifying and addressing potential vision problems in schoolchildren. However, inconsistencies have been reported in both the testing methods and accuracy of the screeners.
This study assessed the prevalence of refractive errors and accuracy of screening by teachers in four schools in Grand Kru County, Liberia, in 2019. We analysed the data retrospectively for prevalence of visual impairment and associations with sex, age and school were explored.
Our analysis shows that teachers can be trained to conduct vision screening tests on schoolchildren to an acceptable level of accuracy, but strong monitoring and quality assurance systems should be built into screening programmes from the onset. In settings like Liberia, where many children do not attend school regularly, screening programmes should extend to community platforms to reach children out of school.