POTENTIAL FOR IMPROVING ACCESS TO EYE HEALTH SERVICES THROUGH ENROLLMENT IN COMMUNITY BASED HEALTH INSURANCE (CBHI) SCHEME IN BUEA, CAMEROON IN JUNE, 2012
In Cameroon, prevalence of blindness is estimated at 1% of the total population (about 20million people) with cataract accounting for 50% of this occurrence. The population at higher risk are rural dwellers and people with lower socio-economic status. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre Intelligence Agency (CIA) stated that 43% of Cameroon population live in rural areas and 40% live below the poverty line. The Cameroon Government and health development partners set up strategies to eliminate preventable blindness in accordance with the WHO-VISION 2020 goal, Right to Sight. However, financing poses a challenge to sustainability of eye care service delivery.
In light of the burden of eye health particularly for persons in rural communities, this study sought to examine knowledge and uptake of eye care services in a selected community in Cameroon. The study involved interviews with eye care service providers and individuals within the community on access to eye health service.
With financial access to health care being a major barrier noted from studies, the study also assessed feasibility of Community Based Health Insurance Schemes (CBHIS) to improving access to eye care services.
Findings from the study note that, despite the perceived benefits of the CBHIS and basic knowledge on importance of eye health, there are gaps in awareness of eye care service provision and CBHIS.
Key recommendation from the study is the need for sensitisation on CBHIS and eye care services to increase enrolment in scheme and encourage uptake of eye care services.
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