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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Visual Health Screening by Schoolteachers in Remote Communities of Peru: Implementation Research

AUTHOR:

Sergio Latorre-Arteaga, Diana Gil-González, Covadonga Bascarán, Richard Hurtado Núñez, María Del Carmen Peral Morales D & Guillermo Carrillo Orihuela

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2016

PUBLICATION:

Bulletin of the World Health Organization

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 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.