Evidence briefs

22 results

What are the most effective strategies for preventing visual impairment among older people in Africa?

Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment and that 50% of these cases could have been prevented through multiple strategies and measures. According to WHO Afro, visual impairment is a major public health problem in African countries affecting about 26.3 million people and the principal causes are trachoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, corneal opacity and uncorrected refractive error. The 2019 Global burden of disease report supported by studies showed that visual impairment is higher among adults especially older women and 90% of cases are centered in LMICs (Bourne et al., 2021). Visual impairment affects people’s quality of life, exacerbates poverty, increases risk of mortality, and negatively impacts on individuals’ independence and mental health (Banks & Polack, 2014; Kuper et al., 2019). If no steps are taken, this will derail African countries progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 3 ‘Good Health and Well-Being’ (as vision has a significant impact on both) as well as the Africa Agenda 2063 which aims to address the continent’s specific development challenges. This evidence brief aims to bring out effective strategies informed by research that can prevent visual impairment among older people in Africa.

  • Health
SignificanceFeasibilityApplicabilityEquity
Recommendations
  • Countries to conduct in-depth, population -based surveys and dialogues to understand the context specific barriers, challenges, and inform plans
  • Early targeting of girls and young women addressing gender specific factors contributing to visual impairment
  • African countries to carry out mass media and community level awareness campaigns targeting mainly rural communities about visual impairment.
  • Integration of eye health services in primary health care, for increasing access, affordability, and availability of services
  • Human resources for health – training, deployment and equipping of eye specialists and support especially rural communities.

How can we improve the oral health of people with intellectual disabilities in low-resource settings?

People with Intellectual Disabilities have a worse oral health status than the general population, with caries and periodontal disease being the most prevalent disorders. Moreover, the poor oral health status of people with Intellectual Disabilities tends to be more severe in Low- and Middle-income countries (LMICs) since, in this setting, the situation of systemic inequity experienced by people with disabilities tends to be deeper. For this reason, a comprehensive understanding of the oral health of people with Intellectual Disabilities is a crucial factor in informing the development of strategies and interventions that address the specific dental care needs of this group, thus promoting their quality of life and overall health. The brief explores the critical challenges of providing oral health care for people with intellectual disabilities and evidence-based recommendations for overcoming these challenges.

  • Health
SignificanceFeasibilityApplicabilityEquity
Recommendations
  • Improve the training of health professionals about the needs of people with Intellectual Disabilities regarding their oral care specificities
  • Involvement of people with Intellectual Disabilities and caregivers in the oral care delivery process
  • Promote, where possible, the independence of people with Intellectual Disabilities in performing their oral hygiene
  • Development of tailor-made dental care accommodations that meet the needs of this population

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