Detecting glaucoma in rural Kenya: Results from a teleglaucoma pilot project in Nyamira, Kenya

Document Type





Precis: A teleglaucoma (TG) case-finding model was used in Kenya. Of the patients, 3.46% had definite glaucoma and 4.12% were glaucoma suspects. Most cases were of moderate to advanced stage and referred for further assessment.
Purpose: The aim was to evaluate glaucoma prevalence in a high-risk population using a TG model.
Methods: Patients aged 35 or over were referred to the TG program from the outpatient diabetic and hypertensive clinics at Nyamira District Hospital (NDH) and from community awareness programs. Comprehensive ophthalmic examination included structured history, visual acuity, intraocular pressure, central corneal thickness, stereoptic nerve, and macular images. A glaucoma specialist provided diagnosis and management recommendation through virtual consultation. Glaucoma diagnosis and staging were based on at least 1 eye meeting the optic nerve criteria as specified by the Canadian glaucoma guidelines.
Results: In all, 1206 participants were seen and 19 of these could not complete the examination. Of 1187 patients, 56% were women and the mean age was 56.60±12.36 years. Of the patients, 11.8% had images that were ungradable in at least 1 eye. The prevalence of glaucoma and glaucoma suspects was 3.46% (n=42) and 4.12% (n=50), respectively. The proportion of patients with early, moderate, advanced, and absolute glaucoma was 2.4%, 33.3%, 52.4%, and 2.4%, respectively. Other diagnoses (pathology in at least 1 eye) included cataract in 13.2%, diabetic retinopathy in 1.48%, and optic atrophy in 1.98%. Of the patients, 28.2% were referred to the Innovation Eye Centre, Kisii, for further assessment.
Conclusion: A structured TG program detected glaucoma in 3.46% of a rural Kenyan population. Timely patient referral was also initiated.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Glaucoma