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Br J Ophthalmol. 2005 Oct;89(10):1250-3.

Traditional healers' roles on eye care services in Nepal.

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  • 1Department of International Community Health, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Japan.



To evaluate the traditional healer (TH) training programme carried out by Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, a non-governmental organisation in Nepal, by measuring the changes in knowledge and practices of trained THs in providing primary eye care services.


103 trained THs practising in six districts of Nepal were interviewed with a semistructured questionnaire. Their knowledge about various illnesses and eye care practices were compared before and after the training.


A significant change in the number of THs with accurate perceived knowledge about trachoma (28.2% v 70.9%, p<0.0001) and cataract (54.4% v 94.2%, p<0.0001) was found after the training. In total, 98 (95%) THs stopped using traditional eye medicines after receiving the training (p<0.0001). The referral practices of THs improved significantly after the training (15% v 100%, p<0.0001). After the training, 95% of the THs used an eye care kit to treat patients with red eyes and simple ocular trauma.


The findings show that a TH training programme on primary eye care services convinced traditional healers to stop the use of traditional eye medicines and improve referral practices in Nepal.

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