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Free Content Primary eye care in Rwanda: gender of service providers and other factors associated with effective service delivery

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Summary Objective 

To assess factors associated with high output of recently trained medical personnel in Rwanda. Methods 

Nurses and village health workers (VHW) from all health centres in Rubavu district were included. Data were collected during focus group discussions and through one-to-one interviews. Follow-up interviews were carried out in January 2009. Results 

There was a wide range from none to all VHW referring people to a health centre. VHW brought more people to the health centre if there was a visiting ophthalmic clinical officer from the Eye Unit offering free screening. VHW output varied; male VHW brought 66.7% of patients identified (regardless of the sex of the health centre nurse), while female VHW brought 5.2 times as many people if the health centre nurse was male compared to if the nurse was female. Conclusion 

Changes in training curriculum and support and supervision of health workers trained in primary eye care (PEC) are likely to lead to improved outputs. Information efforts should reinforce that male and female nurses have the same training and skills in PEC.

Keywords: Rwanda; cataract; eye diseases; primary health care

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  The Fred Hollows Foundation, Sydney, Australia 2:  Fred Hollows Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya 3:  Kanombe Military Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda 4:  Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Good Samaritan Foundation, Moshi, Tanzania

Publication date: May 1, 2010


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