Title

Pattern of eye diseases at the primary health centers in a Pakistani district

Document Type

Article

Department

Ophthalmology

Abstract

Introduction: Pakistan has an extensive network of public facilities aimed to provide primary health care including eye care. Yet no data exist on the number and purpose of eye visits to these facilities. Objective: This study aimed to describe the pattern of eye diseases in public primary care hospitals in a district in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted in 14 randomly selected government primary health care centers 10 Basic Health Units and 4 Rural Health Centers in district Nawab shah, a central district of Sindh province. Doctors in these centers were trained in diagnosis and management of common eye diseases at the primary level and requested to record data prospectively on the total number of patient visits, total number of eye consultations and reasons for eye consultation. Data were entered and analyzed using EPI Info Software. Results: Over a period of one month, 9759 visits were made to the 14 selected primary health care centers. Eye diseases accounted for 1.8% of the total visits. Adults were more likely to have an eye consultation compared with children (Odds Ratio: 2.96; P < 0.01). Conjunctivitis (34.1%), cataract (22.0%), and corneal problems (6.9%) were the most common reasons for eye consultations. Conclusion: Despite solid evidence of a high burden of eye diseases at the community level in Pakistan, eye diseases accounted for only a very small proportion of the total consultations in the primary health care facilities. Efforts are needed to assess barriers to optimal utilization of existing primary health care services for eye diseases.

Publication

Sudan Medical Monitor