Original Research

Optical coherence tomography in the management of diabetic macular oedema in sub-Saharan Africa

Benjamin Abaidoo, Alec Bernard, Jessica A. Sedhom, Andrew E. Akafo, Patience Yeboah, Shannan Berzack, Ashiyana Nariani, Imoro Zeba Braimah
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 83, No 1 | a918 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v83i1.918 | © 2024 Benjamin Abaidoo, Alec Bernard, Jessica A. Sedhom, Andrew E. Akafo, Patience Yeboah, Shannan Berzack, Ashiyana Nariani, Imoro Zeba Braimah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 January 2024 | Published: 28 June 2024

About the author(s)

Benjamin Abaidoo, Department of Surgery, Ophthalmology unit, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra Korle Bu Eye Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Alec Bernard, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California Himalayan Cataract Project (HPC) Cure Blindness, Waterbury, Vermont, United States
Jessica A. Sedhom, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California Department of Ophthalmology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Andrew E. Akafo, Korle Bu Eye Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Patience Yeboah, Korle Bu Eye Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Shannan Berzack, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, United States
Ashiyana Nariani, Himalayan Cataract Project (HPC) Cure Blindness, Waterbury, Vermont, United States
Imoro Zeba Braimah, Department of Surgery, Ophthalmology unit, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra Korle Bu Eye Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana

Abstract

Background: Accurate and objective diagnosis of centre-involving diabetic macular oedema (ci-DMO) requires the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT). There is limited data on the availability and rate of utilisation of OCT for the management of DMO in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Aim: To assess the availability and rate of utilisation of OCT for the management of DMO in SSA.

Setting: Retina-practising ophthalmologists in 18 countries across SSA.

Methods: In this cross-sectional survey, a structured questionnaire was distributed among ophthalmologists treating patients with retina diseases in SSA. Data were collected using Google Forms by sharing a link to the Google data sheet with participants via email. The responses were analysed, summarised and presented using proportions and frequency tables.

Results: A total of 42 ophthalmologists participated in this study. The proportion of diabetic retinopathy patients with DMO seen on a monthly basis was ≤ 20% among 24 (57.1%) participants and ≥ 40% among 14.3% participants. Thirty-eight (90.5%) participants had access to an OCT facility in their area of practice and 85.7% of them had Spectra Domain OCT. Twenty-five (64%) participants performed 1 to 50 OCT scans monthly and 34% performed > 50 OCT scans monthly. Important factors influencing OCT use in DMO patients were: the availability of OCT in the facility, patients’ insurance coverage and the severity of DMO.

Conclusion: Optical coherence tomography is readily available although there is wide variability in its use in SSA.

Contribution: This survey uncovers the need for standardising practice patterns and usage of OCT in the treatment of DMO in SSA.


Keywords

optical coherence tomography; diabetic macular oedema; diabetic retinopathy; improving access to care; retina survey; anti-vascular endothelial growth factors; sub-Saharan Africa

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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