Monday, 20 March 2017 00:00

Assessment of the Impact of Reading glasses on Livelihoods and Quality of Life in the Context of Rural Bangladesh

Assessment of the Impact of Reading glasses on Livelihoods and Quality of Life in the Context of Rural Bangladesh

Farzana Sehrin and Anita Sharif Chowdhury

Date: 21 March 2017; Time: 10:00 to 11:00 am; Venue: RED Conference Room (15th Floor)

Research Proposal Presentation


Clear vision is a precondition to enjoy a quality life while being economically productive. One of the vision related emerging public health problems in Bangladesh is presbyopia, as one-fifth of Bangladeshi people suffer from it. This particular eye condition makes people unable to see near objects. There are over 1.3 billion people aged ≥35 globally, who suffer from this easily correctable condition of Presbyopia. It has been documented that currently 624 million people in the world could have restored their vision with a pair of glasses. In some specific studies, it has been found that presbyopic patients can overcome their vision problem with just a pair of glasses and thus can continue to live a productive and quality life. But many challenges confront the provision of eyeglasses to the poor in developing and less developing countries where presbyopia is dominant. Among them, lack of awareness about the value of corrected vision, access to eyeglasses, and affordability are major barriers to clear vision. BRAC has been working in partnership with Vision Spring, a social enterprise established in 2001 in USA, in order to reduce poverty and generate opportunity through the sale of affordable eyeglasses in the country. However, a number of issues relating to the impact of reading glasses in relation to productivity and quality of life need to be specifically evaluated in this country context which has not been done before. This in return will strengthen policy and advocacy to enhance the programme for the population in need in poorer context. The current study will try to determine the effect of reading glass use on livelihood and quality of life considering post-intervention at community level. The surveys will be administered six months apart. The tentative study period is from April 2017 to October 2017. The study will adopt an experimental design utilising both pre and post-intervention data to identify the causal effects. Randomisation will be administered at the individual level as presbyopia affects the individual. A pair of glasses will be randomly assigned to individuals from the population aged≥35 having presbyopia from 30 targeted villages, where, BRAC-Vision programme is currently absent. Total sample size of the study is 1036, equally divided among the control and intervention group. The randomisation will be conducted after collecting the census data from the selected sample villages.