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Bozzani F.M.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Griffiths U.K.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Blanchet K.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Schmidt E.,Sightsavers
BMC Health Services Research | Year: 2014

Background: VISION 2020 is a global initiative launched in 1999 to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020. The objective of this study was to undertake a situation analysis of the Zambian eye health system and assess VISION 2020 process indicators on human resources, equipment and infrastructure. Methods. All eye health care providers were surveyed to determine location, financing sources, human resources and equipment. Key informants were interviewed regarding levels of service provision, management and leadership in the sector. Policy papers were reviewed. A health system dynamics framework was used to analyse findings. Results: During 2011, 74 facilities provided eye care in Zambia; 39% were public, 37% private for-profit and 24% owned by Non-Governmental Organizations. Private facilities were solely located in major cities. A total of 191 people worked in eye care; 18 of these were ophthalmologists and eight cataract surgeons, equivalent to 0.34 and 0.15 per 250,000 population, respectively. VISION 2020 targets for inpatient beds and surgical theatres were met in six out of nine provinces, but human resources and spectacles manufacturing workshops were below target in every province. Inequalities in service provision between urban and rural areas were substantial. Conclusion: Shortage and maldistribution of human resources, lack of routine monitoring and inadequate financing mechanisms are the root causes of underperformance in the Zambian eye health system, which hinder the ability to achieve the VISION 2020 goals. We recommend that all VISION 2020 process indicators are evaluated simultaneously as these are not individually useful for monitoring progress. © 2014 Bozzani et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Waite R.C.,WaterAid | Velleman Y.,WaterAid | Woods G.,Sightsavers | Chitty A.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Freeman M.C.,Emory University
International Health | Year: 2015

A WHO roadmap to control, eliminate and eradicate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) proposes a public health approach integrating diverse prevention and treatment interventions. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has long been a recognized, yet under-prioritized intervention of global disease control efforts. Through collaboration with the WASH sector, efforts have been made to integrate WASH in NTD control. This article reviews progress made in recent years, explores mechanisms supporting advances, and identifies priorities and next steps for accelerating WASH integration. This paper reveals advances in collaboration between WASH and NTD sectors, resulting in progress made across areas of programming; research; advocacy and policy; training and capacity building; and mapping, data collection and monitoring. Face to face meetings between WASH and NTD sector experts with a clear purpose of informing wider sector discussions, and the development of actionable joint workplans, have been particularly critical in supporting progress. Priority next steps include building capacity for WASH programming among NTD control teams, coordination at the country level, and strengthening the epidemiological evidence and operational learning for joint WASH and NTD interventions. In order to accelerate WASH integration in NTD control through strong collaborations with the WASH sector, the NTD sector could make use of strong data management skills and advocacy opportunities. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved.

Blanchet K.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Gordon I.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Gilbert C.E.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Wormald R.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Awan H.,Sightsavers
Ophthalmic Epidemiology | Year: 2012

Purpose: Since the Declaration of Alma Ata, universal coverage has been at the heart of international health. The purpose of this study was to review the evidence on factors and interventions which are effective in promoting coverage and access to cataract and other health services, focusing on developing countries. Methods: A thorough literature search for systematic reviews was conducted. Information resources searched were Medline, The Cochrane Library and the Health System Evidence database. Medline was searched from January 1950 to June 2010. The Cochrane Library search consisted of identifying all systematic reviews produced by the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group and the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care. These reviews were assessed for potential inclusion in the review. The Health Systems Evidence database hosted by MacMaster University was searched to identify overviews of systematic reviews. Results: No reviews met the inclusion criteria for cataract surgery. The literature search on other health sectors identified 23 systematic reviews providing robust evidence on the main factors facilitating universal coverage. The main enabling factors influencing access to services in developing countries were peer education, the deployment of staff to rural areas, task shifting, integration of services, supervision of health staff, eliminating user fees and scaling up of health insurance schemes. Conclusion: There are significant research gaps in eye care. There is a pressing need for further high quality primary research on health systems-related factors to understand how the delivery of eye care services and health systems' capacities are interrelated. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Keating J.,Tulane University | Yukich J.O.,Tulane University | Sutherland C.S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Sutherland C.S.,University of Basel | And 4 more authors.
Acta Tropica | Year: 2015

The control and eventual elimination of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) requires the expansion of current control and surveillance activities. A systematic review of the published literature on the costs of HAT prevention, treatment, and control, in addition to the economic burden, was conducted. All studies that contained primary or secondary data on costs of prevention, treatment and control were considered, resulting in the inclusion of 42 papers. The geographically focal nature of the disease and a lack of standardization in the cost data limit the usefulness of the available information for making generalizations across diverse settings. More recent information on the costs of treatment and control interventions for HAT is needed to provide accurate information for analyses and planning. The cost information contained herein can be used to inform rational decision making in control and elimination programs, and to assess potential synergies with existing vector-borne disease control programs, but programs would benefit significantly from new cost data collection. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Lewallen S.,University of Cape Town | Schmidt E.,Sightsavers | Jolley E.,Sightsavers | Lindfield R.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | And 4 more authors.
BMC Ophthalmology | Year: 2015

Background: Recently there has been a great deal of new population based evidence on visual impairment generated in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), thanks to the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey methodology. The survey provides information on the magnitude and causes of visual impairment for planning services and measuring their impact on eye health in administrative "districts" of 0.5-5 million people. The survey results describing the quantity and quality of cataract surgeries vary widely between study sites, often with no obvious explanation. The purpose of this study was to examine health system characteristics that may be associated with cataract surgical coverage and outcomes in SSA in order to better understand the determinants of reducing the burden of avoidable blindness due to cataract. Methods: This was a descriptive study using secondary and primary data. The outcome variables were collected from existing surveys. Data on potential district level predictor variables were collected through a semi-structured tool using routine data and key informants where appropriate. Once collected the data were coded and analysed using statistical methods including t-tests, ANOVA and the Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance test. Results: Higher cataract surgical coverage was positively associated with having at least one fixed surgical facility in the area; availability of a dedicated operating theatre; the number of surgeons per million population; and having an eye department manager in the facility. Variables that were associated with better outcomes included having biometry and having an eye department manager in the facility. Conclusions: There are a number of health system factors at the district level that seem to be associated with both cataract surgical coverage and post-operative visual acuity outcomes. This study highlights the needs for better indicators and tools by which to measure and monitor the performance of eye health systems at the district level. It is unlikely that epidemiological data alone is sufficient for planning eye health services within a district and health managers and study coordinators need to consider collecting supplementary information in order to ensure appropriate planning can take place. © 2015 Lewallen et al.

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