Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:00

Assessment of the Impact of Reading Glasses on Livelihood and Quality of Life in the Context of Rural Bangladesh

Assessment of the Impact of Reading Glasses on Livelihood and Quality of Life in the Context of Rural Bangladesh

Farzana Sehrin and Anita Sharif Chowdhury

Date: 14 August 2016; Time: 10:00 to 11:00 am; Venue: RED Conference Room (15th Floor)

Research Proposal Presentation

Clear vision is a precondition to remain economically productive and at the same time enjoy a quality life. 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. Also in 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. To address this issue, which has a simple solution i.e. a pair of reading glasses, 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 eye glasses 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. Thus, 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 August 2016 to January 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≥40 having presbyopia from 15 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.
Chair: Prof Abdul Bayes, Director BRAC RED