Original Research

Eye health knowledge and health-seeking behaviours in Ghana

Anthony Ofosu, Ivy Osei, Maria Hagan, Leticia Biekro, Albert K. Awedoba
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 77, No 1 | a426 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v77i1.426 | © 2018 Anthony Ofosu, Ivy Osei, Maria Hagan, Leticia Biekro, Albert K. Awedoba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 September 2017 | Published: 09 October 2018

About the author(s)

Anthony Ofosu, Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Ghana Health Service, Ghana
Ivy Osei, Research and Development Division, Ghana Health Service, Ghana
Maria Hagan, Orbis Africa, Accra, Ghana
Leticia Biekro, Research and Development Division, Ghana Health Service, Ghana
Albert K. Awedoba, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Ghana


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Abstract

Background: To improve access to comprehensive eye health services within the community, an intervention study that sought to integrate primary eye care (PEC) into existing primary health care (PHC) services, namely Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS), was conducted.

Aim: To improve access to eye health at community level.

Setting: The study was conducted in Northern, Eastern and Western Regions of Ghana.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional exploratory study, which employed both qualitative and quantitative methods. It used multistage cluster randomised sample design. The study involved a household survey, observation, focus group discussions (FGDs), in-depth interviews (IDIs) and informal discussions and case narratives.

Results: The findings of the baseline survey covered information on the eye health knowledge, and health-seeking behaviours at community level. Out of the total 1760 people interviewed, 52.5% were women. The educational level of the respondents was low, 35.7% had no education and only 3% had tertiary education. All the study communities, including 67% of survey respondents, said eye disease was the third most common health problem. Overall knowledge about specific diseases was low. Only 3% and 5% of respondents mentioned trachoma and glaucoma, respectively, as a cause of blindness. All community members tended to either seek help from the practitioner closest to them or else alternate between different practitioners.

Conclusion: The study showed that eye disease was a common health problem in all the communities. The community members desired eye care services manned by trained personnel close to them. Using CHPS appeared to be an option that can greatly improve access to eye care services in Ghana.


Keywords

Eye health; knowledge; health seeking behaviours; CHPS; PHC

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