Published on : 10 August, 2016
Eye care services are virtually absent in rural communities and upazila levels as primary eye care is yet to be developed in the country. There are 141 secondary hospitals (50% in the government, 40% in the NGOs and 10% in the private sector) that provide eye care in the country. The ophthalmic education training facilities have been developed so far to cater to the needs of the doctors mainly; not much for the mid level eye care professionals, such as nurses, optometrists, opticians, paramedics, program managers, etc.
Given the first line of contact, the informal care providers especially the traditional healers, village doctors and community health care providers can play pivotal role in healthcare services including eye-care support to village people.
In the above context, faith Bangladesh, Orbis International and icddr,b joined in a collaborative effort on a pilot basis to train 200 Rural Medical Practitioners and help improve primary eye-care services to the community. This joint initiative is known as “Training on Integrated Primary Eye Care Approach for Rural Medical Practitioners".
In total 207 (more than the project target) RMPs attended the training from 47 districts covering all divisions of Bangladesh. (IMAGE MAP)
At the end of the course, all participants were given a questionnaire framed with statements in ‘Likert Scale’. They were asked to complete the questions framed on 5-item Likert Scale, with 1 representing ‘Strongly Disgreed, 2 ‘Disagreed', 3 ‘Confused’, 4 ‘Agreed’, 5 ‘Strongly Agreed’.
The analysis revealed the following results:
Course contents were relevant
Course methods were effective
Course materials were helpful
Course objectives were met
The course will be useful in the workplace
Training facilities (such as classrooms, hospital, etc.) were excellent
Overall the course was excellent
It was evident from the above results that the training course was highly relevant (94%), the training methods were highly effective (91%), the course materials were highly satisfactory (91%), and the training met the expectations of the majority participants (82%). Overall, in the opinion of the participants, the training course was excellent.
After the successful completion of Phase 1 of this training project, Phase 2 is going to be conducted from March 2017 to train another 200 RMPs to see the effectiveness and better impact of the training program. This time the participants will be from one region – Mymensingh division.
· To orient the eye health situation and role of informal sector health care providers
· To acquire knowledge of eye health problems, causes, complications, financial implications and impact
· To learn the opportunities and negative impact of wrong and malpractice of formal and informal providers.
· To learn tools and techniques of primary eye screening and examination skills for early identification and referral
· To acquire mobilization skills and support planning of community outreach and school sight testing program
· To demonstrate a lead role in developing and implementing eye health referral from the community including follow up of eye patients
· To educate his /her peers to spread out the best practices of primary eye care and early referral