​​​​ Bin Nou Credit Bin Nou.JPG ​​

This is Bin Nou. She’s 35 years old. Nou is a head teacher at Ta Tum Primary school in Bantheay Srey District in Siem Reap, Cambodia. 

Recently she participated in a vision screening training organized by the Ministry of Education in partnership with Sightsavers and Fred Hollows Foundation to identify students with vision problems. 

The ministry promotes eye health as part of its inclusive education strategy to remove barriers for active participation and academic success in education. 

After the training, Bin Nou received a vision screening kit so she could test the eyesight of children in her school. ​ During the training, participants were offered a free eye examination and since Nou experienced some vision problems herself, she was keen to be tested. Indeed she needed glasses so she returned home with her very first pair of glasses!
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​Teachers during the vision screening training. 
Photo credit: Claire Eggers

She loved her new look and happily posed for our camera, mentioning that the School Health Integrated Programming (SHIP) is very important for Cambodia’s rural communities.

SHIP initiative in Cambodia is part of wider global programme that is supporting governments in Cambodia, Senegal, Ghana and Ethiopia to strengthen and integrate their school health programmes. 

The World BankImperial College London’s Partnership for Child Development (PCD) and Sightsavers​ have teamed up to support governments in Africa and Asia to strengthen their national school health and nutrition programmes. The initiative is supported and funded by the Global Partnership for Education​.

Schools provide a cost-effective platform to deliver simple health interventions which are proven to reduce absenteeism and drop-out rates, and improve child cognition and learning.

Bin Nou and Matai with new glasses photo credit Bin Nou.JPG
Bin Nou and Matai with their new glasses.
​Photo credit: Bin Nou
SHIP initiative is focused on two cornerstones of school health and nutrition: deworming and vision screening. These two simple interventions can be used as a platform for other interventions.

In Cambodia, along with the vision screening, teacher training workshops have been held to strengthen school-based deworming and identify how to integrate other health initiatives into these national programmes.

​Nou explained: “Our villages don’t have easy access to eye care providers and glasses are not available locally. Therefore vision problems often remain uncorrected”.

With improved vision, Nou expect better learning outcomes from Matai, and that is of course a priceless result of a very simple and low-cost intervention.

After celebrating World Teachers’ Day earlier this week, let’s honor passionate and committed teachers like Nou, as they clearly make a difference in the life of their students.

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