Efficiency of Mobile Eye Camps For Providing Combined Eye and Vision Care in Underserved Areas in Uttarakhand
To report eye examinations findings and cost-efficiency of mobile eye and vision care screening in underserved areas in north India, The Aloka Vision Program combines optometrical and ophthalmological screening as mobile eye camps with organized referrals to local eye hospitals. 402 people from urban (N=191) and rural (N=211) areas in the district of Uttarakhand, India, were screened for Refractive Error (RE), Visual Acuity (VA) and eye health. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA model and odd ratios. Costs were estimated based on the expenses of the camps. 44% of the participants were male and 56% were female and the age ranged from 7 to 72 years (urban) and 7 to 80 years (rural). Lack of accessibility of eye care was mentioned by 10% of the urban and 47% of the rural participants, why not attending regular vision test. Mild and severe visual impairment VA<0.5 logMAR affected every fifth person, independent from the living environment. RE showed a myopic trend for the urban environment (Δ M=0.67 D, p=0.11). The risk for blindness was three times higher in rural compared to the urban area, mainly caused by cataract. The major costs are given by the treatments (58%), followed by mobilization and organization (~30%), whereas personal costs are low (~11%). Combined eye and vision care models reduce costs for separated screening’s organization and thus can increase the effectiveness of eye screening programs significantly.
Siegfried Wahl1,2*, Alexander Leube1,2, Renu Dhasmana3, Premjeeth Moodbidri4, Vasuki Krishna Kumar4, Nitin Sisodia5, Joachim Kuss2