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Primary Eye Care and Community Participation. Dr. Saman Wimalasundera MBBS, DO, PhD Senior lecturer in community medicine & community ophthalmologist Community Ophthalmology center Department of community medicine P.O.Box 70, Galle Sri Lanka. Primary eye care and community participation.

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Primary eye care and community participation l.jpg

Primary Eye Care and Community Participation

Dr. Saman Wimalasundera MBBS, DO, PhD

Senior lecturer in community medicine

& community ophthalmologist

Community Ophthalmology center

Department of community medicine

P.O.Box 70,

Galle

Sri Lanka


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Primary eye care and community participation

Delivery of primary eye care has its specific roles and targets in the community and good community participation is an essential component in the successful prevention of blindness program.



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Essential components of primary eye care prevention of blindness.

  • Promotive

  • Preventive

  • Curative

  • Rehabilitative


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(1) Promotive eye care prevention of blindness.

1.Creating and awareness of the blinding diseases existing in the community and the ways of preventing or curing it.

2.How to use the available recourses to overcome the problems.


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(2) Preventive eye care prevention of blindness.

1.Motivation of individuals and their

communities to participate in blindness

prevention activities.

2.Social and community development that promotes health

3.Change of behavior and environment


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Examples prevention of blindness.

  • Provision of adequate safe water.

    construction of latrines &refuse pits

  • maintenance of environmental hygiene.

  • Consumption of food rich in vitamin A.

  • Care for individuals at risk.


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  • Prevention of measles, malnutrition and prevention of blindness.

    diarrhea in children

  • Protection of eyes against injuries.

  • Immunization (E.g. Measles)

  • Screening of antenatal mothers for sexually

    transmitted diseases.

  • Family planning


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(3) Curative activities prevention of blindness.

1. To carry out treatment procedures for simple common diseases that lead to blindness or impaired vision if not treated

e.g. corneal ulcers, refractive errors etc.

2. First aid treatment for eye injuries.

3.Timely referral to secondary level.

4.Identification of potentially blinding disease

conditions for proper management

5.Identification of curable blinding diseases

e.g.cataract and referral for treatment


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(4) Rehabilitative activities prevention of blindness.

Target group: Incurably blind people

What can the primary eye care workers

do to them ?

They should be assured that they are not

completely useless


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Development of primary eye care program given to them to acquire some skills

A good primary Eye care Program will depend on :

  • existing health care services and availability of trained health care workers (Manpower)

  • Political and professional motivation


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(3) Resources for training, to conduct programs and to monitor it.

  • Supplies for primary eye care workers.

  • Funding for capital and recurrent expenditure.

  • Close liaison with secondary and tertiary centers

  • Careful Planning and evaluation


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Basic equipment essential for PEC program monitor it.

  • Snellens chart and pinhole

  • Hand magnifying lens

  • Good source of light (Torch with batteries)

  • Eye dressings

  • Teaching materials


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Different Types of Primary Eye care Programs that can be used in the community

  • Depend on the need of the local community

    and available resources

    1. Need assessment Programs

    2. Screening for blinding diseases

    3. Comprehensive care Eye camps

    4. Out reach Surgical Camps

    5. Health Education Programs


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Sustainability of the PEC programs used in the community

Depend on the following areas

  • Technical sustainability :- Training of technical staff

  • Financial sustainability :- Continuous allocation of funds necessary

  • Operational sustainability :- Monitoring of the activities regularly.


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Community Participation used in the community


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Ottawa charter and health promotion used in the community

In 1986 an international conference

called Ottawa charter adopts five principal

elements that improve health promotion.


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The Five principals are used in the community

  • Healthy public policy

  • Personnel skills development

  • Community participation

  • Healthy and supportive environment

  • Re-organization of health services

    Community participation is a major

    emphasis in eye health promotion.


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The promotion of eye health and to used in the community

reduce the risk of blindness though

community ophthalmology needs good

community participation


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Community participation is influenced by used in the community

  • Community beliefs and perceptions

  • Motivation of people in the community

  • Awareness of the problems related to blindness


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Community participation can be improved by used in the community

  • Encouraging the people with early symptoms by their families to attend to available health services


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Community participation enhances eye health used in the community

  • By attending to the community health programs for early detection

  • By following treatment procedures until full recovery


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  • By adopting changes in life style that encourages eye health used in the community

  • By improving the living environment in the communities to reduce the risk of transmission of eye diseases

  • By creating a community demand by the people of the community to develop infra structure facilities by policy makers that improves eye care services.


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There is a high demand for a used in the community

community based approach in the

prevention of blindness. That needs

proper community participation.


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