Duration 5min, Q&A 3min
Elimination of Avoidable Blindness by 2020: Policies and Programs under Bangladesh Health, Population, Nutrition Sector Development Program to Achieve the Target
In Bangladesh, avoidable blindness is one of the major public health problems, age specific standardized blindness prevalence rate is 1.53% and thus there are 750,000 blind adults are above the age of 30 years. 80% of bilateral adult blindness is due to cataract, and about 40,000 children are also estimated to be blind. The government of Bangladesh, being a signatory to the vision 2020, formulated a national eye-care plan under the leadership of the Bangladesh National Council for the blind, an apex body under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW). This review paper intends to share implementation lessons and strategies, policies and programmes of MOHFW to achieve vision 2020 target.
To mitigate blindness problem MOHFW has initiated National Eye Care (NEC) programme in the Health Sector Wide Approaches (SWAp) since 2003, and more comprehensively addressed in 3rd SWAp (2011-2016). This pro-poor essentials service of NEC has resulted in reducing gap between the rich and the poor. Three major areas have been prioritizes in the NEC, these are provide quality cataract surgery, childhood blindness prevention, correction of refractive errors and low vision while recognizing the need for focusing sub-specialty services like cornea, retina glaucoma etc. as the emerging priorities. To mitigate blindness problem NEC program is implementing in cooperation with local and INGOs utilizing their available human resources and facilities.
The strategies adopted to achieve the target are;- strengthening advocacy; development of facilities with modern technology; human resources development and management; reducing disease burden ; improving and expanding coordination and partnership; developing eye-health promotion system; introducing and strengthening in-built MIS for eye-health and sustaining demand-side financing (Voucher scheme). The program has initiated activities like establishment of vision centers at sub-district facilities; introduction of child sight testing, demand side financing and incorporating primary eye-care to community clinic services.
Results and Conclusion
To achieve vision 2020, National Advisory committee has been formed and functioning; vision2020 district committees are functioning at districts; trained a reasonable number of professionals- eight ophthalmologists on micro-surgery and 70 doctors, 100 nurses, 300 primary health care workers trained on eye care services. Almost 50% of the district hospitals equipped with trained human resources and equipment to provide more comprehensive eye care services including Cataract surgery; and strengthened GO-NGO-private sector collaboration through public-private partnership. Bangladesh government has developed a commendable and implementable health policy to achieve the targets of Vision 2020.
[ Keyword ]
Health sector reform , SWAp, Health Policy, National eye Care Plan,Demand-side financing
[ Conflict of Interest ]