Integrated model of primary and secondary eye care for underserved rural areas: The L V Prasad Eye Institute experience

Rao, Gullapalli N.; Khanna, Rohit C.; Athota, Sashi Mohan; Rajshekar, Varda; Rani, Padmaja Kumari
October 2012
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology;Oct2012, Vol. 60 Issue 5, p396
Academic Journal
Blindness is a major global public health problem and recent estimates from World Health Organization (WHO) showed that in India there were 62 million visually impaired, of whom 8 million are blind. The Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study (APEDS) provided a comprehensive estimate for prevalence and causes of blindness for the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP). It also highlighted that uptake of services was also an issue, predominantly among lower socio-economic groups, women, and rural populations. On the basis of this analysis, L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) developed a pyramidal model of eye care delivery. This article describes the LVPEI eye care delivery model. The article discusses infrastructure development, human resource development, and service delivery (including prevention and promotion) in the context of primary and secondary care service delivery in rural areas. The article also alludes to opportunities for research at these levels of service delivery and the amenability of the evidence generated at these levels of the LVPEI eye health pyramid for advocacy and policy planning. In addition, management issues related to the sustainability of service delivery in rural areas are discussed. The article highlights the key factors required for the success of the LVPEI rural service delivery model and discusses challenges that need to be overcome to replicate the model. The article concludes by noting the potential to convert these challenges into opportunities by integrating certain aspects of the existing healthcare system into the model. Examples include screening of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in order to promote higher community participation. The results of such integration can serve as evidence for advocacy and policy.


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