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Controlling childhood blindness in Bangladesh: new initiatives

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Session Details

Session Title: Orbis Free Paper Session

Session Date/Time: Monday 07/09/2015 | 11:30-12:45

Paper Time: 12:28

Venue: Room 4

First Author: : A.Hussain BANGLADESH

Co Author(s): :    N. Ferdausi                    

Abstract Details


Visual impairment in childhood has a profound impact on all aspects of life. The major barriers to uptake of pediatric eye care services are lack of awareness of parents and family members, lack of organized system of case findings, lack of appropriate referral advice and referral network, access to pediatric eye care services and costs. The purpose of this study was to document the initiatives have undertaken by National Eye Care (NEC) of government of Bangladesh (GoB) and International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs) to address and control the problems of childhood blindness.


The study was conducted through NEC and pediatric ophthalmology department of National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital (NIO&H). Government of Bangladesh formulated National Eye Care (NEC) plan to eliminate avoidable blindness. The plan also emphasized the need for active government, non-government and Private partnership to implement vision 2020.


This descriptive study was conducted during the period January to December, 2014. All the documents for childhood reduction programs taken by government and non-governmental organizations through NEC and pediatric ophthalmology department of NIO&H were reviewed meticulously. In-depth interviews were carried out among program managers/consultants of the relevant programs.


A module for front-line health workers on common childhood eye problems has prepared. Training program is running among front-line health workers for early case findings and referral system. Program is taken to detect white pupil by simple torch-light through expanded program on immunization. Pediatric ophthalmology protocol guideline has prepared to make sure the unique treatment all over the country. Little doctors program is running in the selected schools by the students to examine the refractive errors of other fellows. Retinopathy of Prematurity screening program has started. Pediatricians, neonatologists and obstetricians are involved in controlling childhood blindness program.


A well-coordinated system is required for early detection of children's eye problem, appropriate and timely assessment and intervention, an organized system of referrals and an ultimate connection to community services. This study results revealed that some good initiatives have been taken by GoB and INGOs to control childhood blindness. Strong monitoring system is needed to evaluate these initiatives and valuable recommendations for future planning to control childhood blindness.

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