Dr Jill Carlton (ScHARR), Paolo Mazzone (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 in middle income countries in Europe.
|CC BY-SA 2.0 Matteo Ferraresso|
Screening for vision and hearing disorders in children has shown to be highly effective. Early detection and treatment of amblyopia prevents lifelong visual impairment. Early detection and treatment of hearing impairment prevents delayed speech and language development. 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 these vary widely, making 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, a cost-effectiveness model will be used to establish the optimal screening regime for any particular set of local or national circumstances. Screening programme data will be gathered across 41 European countries. Cost-optimised, evidence-based screening will then 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, and alongside lessons learnt from the implementation studies, a transferable Toolkit will be created. The Toolkit will assist healthcare providers and policy-makers in their decisions to introduce or modify screening programmes, to increase effectiveness, efficiency and equity of child healthcare. The project is funded by Horizon2020. Further details can be found https://www.euscreen.