EUSCREEN’s full title is “Implementation of optimized childhood vision and hearing screening programmes in middle-income countries in Europe”
Over the past two years researchers at the University of Sheffield and University of Reading have been working with a large international team on a funding application to evaluate and implement optimised childhood vision and hearing programmes across Europe (the EUSCREEN project). The EUSCREEN project will take place over four years, starting January 2017.
Across Europe inequity exists in the provision of childhood vision and hearing screening programmes. High-Income Countries (HICs) have vision and hearing screening programmes, but they vary with regard to age and frequency of testing, tests used, uptake, screening professionals, referral pathway and funding. This makes it difficult for healthcare providers and policy-makers to decide what screening to implement in Low- to Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and how.
In this study, cost-optimised, evidence-based screening will be implemented in two LMICs, based on collated evidence from existing vision and hearing screening programmes in Europe. A generic strategy for implementation will be developed. The cost-effectiveness model and the strategy for implementation will be packed into a transferable TOOLKIT that will assist healthcare providers and policy makers worldwide in their decisions to introduce or modify screening programmes, and increase effectiveness, efficiency and equity of child healthcare.
Dr Jill Carlton (ScHARR) and Dr Helen Griffiths (Academic Unit of Ophthalmology & Orthoptics) from the University of Sheffield are leading the work on evaluation of existing vision screening programmes.