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Public health system integration of avoidable blindness screening and management, India.

Gudlavalleti, Venkata Sm; Shukla, Rajan; Batchu, Tripura; Malladi, Bala Vidyadhar S; Gilbert, Clare.
Bull World Health Organ; 96(10): 705-715, 2018 Oct 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Nov 2018 | ID: mdl-30455518
Resumo: In India, 73 million people have diabetes and 3.5 million infants are born preterm. Without timely screening, there is a risk of visual loss due to diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity in these two groups, respectively. Both conditions are emerging causes of visual impairment in India but there is no public health programme for screening or management. Pilot projects were initiated in 2014 to integrate the screening and management of these conditions into existing public health systems, particularly in rural communities and their referral networks. The World Health Organization's health systems framework was used to develop the projects and strategies were developed with all stakeholders, including the government. Both projects involved hub-and-spoke models of care units around medical schools. For diabetic retinopathy, screening was established at primary health-care facilities and treatment was provided at district hospitals. For retinopathy of prematurity, screening was integrated into sick newborn care units at the district level and treatment facilities were improved at the closest publically funded medical schools. In the first two years, there were substantial improvements in awareness, screening, treatment and partnership between stakeholders, and changes in public health policy. By March 2018, diabetic retinopathy screening was established at 50 facilities in 10 states and treatment had been improved at 10 hospitals, whereas retinopathy of prematurity screening was established at 16 sick newborn care units in district hospital in four states and treatment had been improved at six medical schools. Advocacy within state governments was critical to the success of the initiative.