Sightsavers Reports

Understanding the role of lady health workers in improving access to eye health services in rural Pakistan – findings from a qualitative study

In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, Lady Health Workers (LHWs) have been tasked with screening for some eye health issues but the uptake of referrals to health facilities has been low.

Using qualitative methodology, this study explores the role of LHWs in referral and the barriers to patient compliance. It shows that disorganised and poor-quality care at the facility level eroded the community’s trust and limited access to eye care. Poverty, deep-rooted gender inequities, and lack of transportation were other reasons for non-compliance.

This study highlights that LHWs have the potential to reduce unmet eye health needs, but only if they are supported by the rest of the health system through clear referral pathways and good communication.

A lady Health Worker trained in primary eye care by Sightsavers is conducting eye screening for children and women during her routine visit to households
Type
Original research
Theme
Eye health
Date published
18/02/2021
Journal
Archives of Public Health
Language
English
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