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E. M. Baruwa, M. He, K. Frick, N. Congdon; The Impact of Community Screening for Cataract in a Rural Population of the Guangdong Province, China. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):5437.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To determine whether a screening program for cataract can help improve the uptake of cataract surgery in a poor, rural community of China.Background:Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in China and cataract surgery rates are low relative to the incidence of cataract. In August 2001, Helen Keller International (HKI) initiated a cataract screening program in Yangjiang County, Guangdong Province in partnership with the privately owned Guangming Eye Hospital (GEH) and community health workers of local government health department. The goal was to increase awareness of cataract surgery and its benefits in order to increase the uptake of cataract surgery. HKI provided training for GEH surgeons and nurses, funded some of the nursing staff salaries as well as all the equipment and supplies.
Three months after the program began in August 2001, a willingness to pay for cataract surgery survey was conducted (the results are in a forthcoming paper by He et al, Opthalmology). In June 2006 a second survey was conducted to see what impact the program has had on familiarity with cataract surgery and the willingness to pay for cataract surgery in rural communities. Standard statistical tests of differences in proportion were used.
Significantly more people knew others who had undergone surgery and more people were willing to pay for surgery. There has been an increase in the amount this population is willing to pay for cataract surgery.
The screening program has increased this population's familiarity with cataract surgery. Most importantly, almost 3 times as many people who could benefit from surgery were willing to pay at least 500 Renminbi for surgery in 2006 as were willing to do so in 2001. This is significant because this is the price of HKI subsidized cataract surgery at the Guangming Eye Hospital.
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