Congratulations to Dr Yusrah Shweikh and Manjul Rathee, co-founders of Eye Heroes who have been awarded a Points of Light award at 10 Downing Street. Supported by Moorfields Eye Charity, Eye Heroes is the first child-led campaign to tackle avoidable blindness in the UK as preventable sight loss is a major health concern in the UK with an estimated 50 percent of sight loss being avoidable by early detection.
Eye Heroes have recently published in the Journal of community medicine and health education evidence that training children as eye health champions can translate into attendances for eye tests. Funding from Moorfields Eye Charity enables the paper to be open access, ensuring the details of this work and outcomes can be available to all and without delay.
Dr Yusrah Shweikh, glaucoma fellow at Moorfields, and Manjul Rathee created Eye Heroes in 2016. Their aim is to empower school-age children to look after their eye health and to raise awareness by encouraging family, friends and classmates to go for regular eye checks. They run interactive workshops using sight loss simulation activities, animation, role-play and games, inspiring children to spread the word in their community, at home and in school.
As reviewed in 2017, the project has had a significant impact so far:
- 2,895 children have been trained about eye health
- An estimated 24,856 people have been informed about eye health
- 42% of people told went on to get an eye test.
Eye Heroes is now being extended across the UK, to find out more visit www.eyeheroes.org.uk