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Seeing is Learning

International studies put the economic cost of uncorrected vision at billions of dollars per year worldwide. What is the cost to China’s children?


Before 2012, no one knew the answer to this question. Not the Ministry of Health or the Center for Disease Control, not researchers in academia. In 2012, REAP carried out the largest vision care policy experiment ever performed in China.

The goals of the study were simple:                     

  • Measure the prevalence of poor vision in rural and migrant areas of China

  • Measure the impact of poor vision on education

  • Determine effective ways to get students to acquire and wear glasses

  • Develop strategies for policy makers to bring vision care into the national health care agenda

Since then we've revealed the extent of the problem: there are tens of millions of children in rural and migrant areas of China that have uncorrected vision, and the condition is having a serious impact on their education.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the lessons we've learned so far:

       > Prevalence of Uncorrected Vision

       > Impact of Wearing Glasses on Test Scores

       > Impact of Wearing Glasses on Myopia Progression

       > What about Eye Exercises?

       > Role of Subsidies in the Provision of Care

       > Role of Teachers in Boosting Eyeglasses Wear

       > Role of Teachers in Visual Acuity Screening


Using these lessons, REAP is expanding our Seeing is Learning project into a social enterprise called Smart Focus Vision. Backed by the world's leading eye care, financial and research institutions, we will bring vision care to the tens of millions of rural children who need it, quickly and sustainably.

       > Smart Focus Vision Website

       > Smart Focus Vision Media Coverage

       > Smart Focus Vision Story


REAP is also working with local governments in rural China to incorporate vision care into the healthcare agenda.

       > Building a Blueprint for Change


Read more about REAP's Seeing Is Learning initiative:

       > "Seeing is Learning" Publications

       > Vision Care Training Materials

       > Anatomy of an Intervention

       > Quality of Rural Refractionists