Authors
Suman S Thapa 1, Kurt H Kelley, Ger V Rens, Indira Paudyal, Lan Chang

A novel approach to glaucoma screening and education in Nepal

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Abstract/Introduction

Background: Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness worldwide and an increasingly significant global health problem. Glaucoma prevention and management efforts have been challenging due to inherent difficulty in developing a simple and cost-effective screening plan, limited access to health care and educational resources, poverty, and inadequate knowledge of the disease, particularly in developing countries. Starting in 2004 the Tilganga Eye Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal has provided targeted glaucoma screening, treatment, and education through a combination of clinical outreach programs and educational activities for patients.

Methods: A simple, age-based glaucoma screening algorithm was incorporated into three one-day cataract screening clinics. Using this algorithm, patients who were newly diagnosed with glaucoma were referred to TEC, where medication and surgery were provided free of charge through private donor funding. In addition, we describe two ongoing educational programs for increasing glaucoma awareness: an annual Glaucoma Awareness Week (which includes free screening, treatment, and counseling), and a repeating lecture series which generates new counselors.


Conclusion/Results

Results: From 2004 to 2007 screening at the annual Glaucoma Awareness Week resulted in the diagnosis of 120 individuals with glaucoma, or 7.6% of total registrants. Attendance increased annually with a trend toward an increasing number of returning patients but a decreasing percentage of newly diagnosed patients, though the absolute numbers have remained relatively stable (range 21 to 38). Data from the three one-day screening clinics in 2006 show that approximately 2 to 4% of patients 50 years of age or older per clinic were newly diagnosed with POAG.

Conclusion: This multi-faceted approach appears to successfully identify individuals with glaucoma and provide treatment to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it. While more data is needed to validate this model, specifically regarding the effectiveness of educational activities, long-term visual outcomes, and medication compliance, it may serve as a useful framework for other developing countries with similarly limited resources.


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Testimonials


My eight year old daughter was terrified to go to the eye doctor for fear of her eyes being dilated. The doctor was SO KID friendly! He immediately made her comfortable by engaging her in conversation. It was a geat experience.


Joya B.

Dr. Garbus spent an amazing amount of time to solve my very complicated visual problems. Over the years he has continually achieved results beyond what others felt possible. He is always up to date on the latest science. He is great!


Dolores K.

Family Vision Care Valencia makes it so easy. Staff is knows what they are doing and Dr. Garbus is thorough and kept me well informed during the exam.


Kristy B.

I have been coming to Family Vision Center for almost 20 years. Dr. Garbus has been able to help my vision when other doctors could not. Now my kids see him as well. I highly recommend this office!


Autumn C.

The Doctor is very good. I felt on this visit he seemed rushed. I had questions to ask him but he was already with another patient. I still do not know if my eyes are the same , worse, or better.


Howard B.

All the staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and has been for all the years I have been going there.


Mary Ann H.
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