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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.

Abstract

AIM:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSION:

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.

PMID:
16170110
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1772885
Free PMC Article
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