Visual Health Screening by Schoolteachers in Remote Communities of Peru: Implementation Research
Sergio Latorre-Arteaga, Diana Gil-González, Covadonga Bascarán, Richard Hurtado Núñez, María Del Carmen Peral Morales D & Guillermo Carrillo Orihuela
Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The purpose of this study was to describe the adaptation and scaling-up of an intervention to improve the visual health of children in the Apurimac region, Peru.
In a pilot screening programme in 2009–2010, 26 schoolteachers were trained to detect and refer visual acuity problems in schoolchildren in one district in Apurimac.
To scale-up the intervention, lessons learnt from the pilot were used to design strategies for:
(i) strengthening multisector partnerships;
(ii) promoting the engagement and participation of teachers and
(iii) increasing children’s attendance at referral eye clinics.
Training was completed by 355 teachers and directors in both provinces, belonging to 315 schools distributed in 24 districts.
Teachers’ appraisal of the training achieved high positive scores. Outreach eye clinics and subsidies for glasses were provided for poorer families.
Data from six districts showed that attendance at the eye clinic increased from 66% (45/68 children referred) in the pilot phase to 92% (237/259) in the implementation phase.