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Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) to mobilize childhood blindness from community

Poster Details

First Author: A.Deka INDIA

Co Author(s):    J. Syeim   S. Saikia           

Abstract Details



Purpose:

To evaluate the role of participatory rural appraisal (PRA) over community based rehabilitation (CBR) to detect and mobilize childhood blindness from rural community.

Setting:

Bawri Nethralaya, Mission Trust

Methods:

Four project rural areas with preexisting CBR project were shortlisted. Main criteria of this selection were preexisting CBR project with significant number of children with visual impairment. Based on several criterions two rural villages were selected for this PRA project. We have adopted PRA like methodology to reach rural community aiming to detect childhood blindness, to improve knowledge and to improve general health of the community along with eye care. PRA approaches also utilized to achieve immunization, spacing, proper maternal and child health and oveall improvement of lifestyle. Information about the villages was collected from villagers by social mapping by them. CBR workers of the locality were the main stakeholder for this study. We encouraged use of local cultural values, organisations and knowledge systems for addressing problems.

Results:

35 children (CBR program) with visual disability were identified out of which 77.14% were blind and 22.86% had SVI. After adopting PRA project 14 new cases were detected of which 71.43% were blind and 28.57% had SVI. Main causes of blindness were cornea (34.28%), lens related (25.72%) and buphthalmos (17%). Immunization of child improved from 9% to 78% over a period of one year. Common practices including food habit, spacing between child births improved. Vision of 9% blind child improved after intervention. 38% children are mobilized to blind school for rehabilitation.

Conclusions:

PRA like methodology is a new approach in community ophthalmology and is very promising to detect and rehabilitate visually impaired children. CBR method is effective in identifying blind child in the community however PRA is very useful to improve knowledge, to plan rehabilitation as well to treat underlining causes of childhood blindness. FINANCIAL INTEREST: NONE

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