Original Research

Building consensus for the development of child eye care services in South Darfur State of Sudan using the Delphi technique

Saif H. Alrasheed, Kovin S. Naidoo, Peter C. Clarke-Farr, Kamal H. Binnawi
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1767 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v10i1.1767 | © 2018 Saif H. Alrasheed, Kovin S. Naidoo, Peter C. Clarke-Farr, Kamal H. Binnawi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 February 2018 | Published: 24 October 2018

About the author(s)

Saif H. Alrasheed, Faculty of Optometry and Visual Science, Al Neelain University Khartoum, Sudan; and, African Vision Research Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Kovin S. Naidoo, African Vision Research Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; and, Brien Holden Vision Institue, University of New South Wales, Australia
Peter C. Clarke-Farr, African Vision Research Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; and, Department of Ophthalmic Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Kamal H. Binnawi, Faculty of Medicine, Alneelain University, Khartoum, Sudan


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Abstract

Background: Global estimates suggest there are almost 19 million visually impaired children worldwide, most of whom reside in poor countries, with the major cause being treatable.

Aim: To determine the barriers to accessing childhood eye care services and to develop an eye care plan for children in South Darfur State, Sudan.

Setting: The study took place in South Darfur State, Sudan.

Methods: The classical Delphi technique was used to build consensus on a list of statements, which were generated based on the themes established by the experts, as well as on an extensive literature review.

Results: Response rates ranged from 90% in the first round (n = 18), 100% in the second round (n = 18) to 89% in the third and final round (n = 16). The total number of statements recommended by the Delphi panellists for development of the paediatric eye care plan, was 60 based on a consensus level of 80% agreement or more. The expert’s consensus on the following key elements for promotion and improvement of child eye care: The main barriers to accessing child eye care were high poverty rate, unavailability of child eye services and a lack of community awareness. The challenges facing visually impaired children were an absence of paediatric ophthalmologists, low vision and orthoptic services.

Conclusion: The main barriers to accessing child eye care services were financial, clinical access and lack of knowledge. There should be greater collaboration between the Ministries of Health, Education and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to work together in addressing these barriers.


Keywords

child eye care; Delphi techniques; childhood visual impairment; barriers; challenge; orthoptic services

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