Eye conditions and blindness in children: Priorities for research, programs, and policy with a focus on childhood cataract.


Gilbert, C; Muhit, M; (2012) Eye conditions and blindness in children: Priorities for research, programs, and policy with a focus on childhood cataract. Indian journal of ophthalmology, 60 (5). pp. 451-5. ISSN 0301-4738 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0301-4738.100548

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Abstract

: The major causes of blindness in children encompass intrauterine and acquired infectious diseases, teratogens and developmental and molecular genetics, nutritional factors, the consequences of preterm birth, and tumors. A multidisciplinary approach is therefore needed. In terms of the major avoidable causes (i.e., those that can be prevented or treated) the available evidence shows that these vary in importance from country to country, as well as over time. This is because the underlying causes closely reflect socioeconomic development and the social determinants of health, as well as the provision of preventive and therapeutic programs and services from the community through to tertiary levels of care. The control of blindness in children therefore requires not only strategies that reflect the local epidemiology and the needs and priorities of communities, but also a well functioning, accessible health system which operates within an enabling and conducive policy environment. In this article we use cataract in children as an example and make the case for health financing systems that do not lead to 'catastrophic health expenditure' for affected families, and the integration of eye health for children into those elements of the health system that work closely with mothers and their children.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: The International Centre for Evidence in Disability
International Centre for Eye Health
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 22944758
Web of Science ID: 308858500021
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/230634

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