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Mary Alejandra Alejandra Sanchez, Juan Carlos Carlos Rueda, Jose A Paczka, Helio Ruber Lopez, Daniela Rueda- Latorre, Luz America Paczka-Giorgi; Eye Diseases Among Indigenous Colombians. An Approach with Teleophthalmology. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2214.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Indicators of health conditions among indigenous Colombians are laying behind compared to those living in the rest of Colombia, South America. There is ample opportunity to apply teleophthalmology as a tool for increasing eye health standards in under-privileged populations. The aim of the study is to assess the performance of a government funded teleophthalmology program to identify and treat major ocular diseases affecting rural communities at the Colombian department of Guainia, an amazon forest region bordering Venezuela and Brazil
A public awareness program on ocular diseases identification and the opportunity to participate in a health campaign were funded and publicized by local authorities in advance of such activities. Optometrists and nurses previously trained to work in the field as itinerant teams were supported by specialized technological equipment to forward information derived from an eye clinical assessment to a reading center located 435 miles away. Data from anterior/ posterior segment photographs, macular/optic nervehead OCT and FDT perimetry information of selected cases were also sent to the reading center. Disease definition was established in order to refer positive cases to a specialty center and provide definite diagnosis and proper treatment.
During a five-month period, a total of 3,545 participants (1,785 female / 1,760 male), with a mean age of 58.3 years (S.D. = 11.9) were screened. Main diagnosis were: closed / occludable irido-corneal angles (398 cases), pterygium (243 cases), glaucoma suspicion (204 cases), glaucoma (56 cases) and cataract (69 cases). No cases of diabetic retinopathy were found. 488 subjects (13.8%) had more than one diagnosis. Diagnosis of specific ocular diseases as determined by well-structured definitions highly correlated between the teleophthlamology working teams and the reading center (89%). Eighty six percent of participants who were positive for major eye diseases were treated in accordance with the type of confirmed disease
The teleophthalmology program used among indigenous participants of Guainia, Colombia performed well regarding eye disease identification and reference to a specialty eye care center
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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