Table 2

Information needs to be obtained on the factors listed for needs analysis, planning, and monitoring of eye care programmes

Positive factorNegative factor
Definition and indicatorDefinition and indicators
StaffingMagnitude of blindness problem
The number of eye care professionals of different categories:    • overall blindness rate
    • number of ophthalmologists    • major blinding conditions
    • number of mid-level eye care personnel (given in 100 000 population)    • age/sex adjusted blindness rate
    • the estimate of cataract backlog
    • the prevalence of blinding trachoma, malnutrition
General health statusSocioeconomic status (SES)
    • present status of healthcare system    • total national income
    • physician population ratio    • income per capita
    • population pyramid    • economic growth rate
    • number of beds    • degree of industrialisation
    • number of eye beds    • proportion of farmers
    • utilisation    • literacy rate
    • population growth    • social welfare system
    • dependent population    • health financing system
    • population less than 15 years of age
    • elderly population
    • life expectancy
    • infant mortality
    • EPI coverage
Organisation and administrationBarriers
    • policy    • natural barriers hampering the progress of the national programmes
    • situation of blindness prevention    • population density
    • administration    • average distance to the first level of contact and facilities where cataract surgery is available
    • presence and activity of the national and local committee
    • working structure and efficiency
Natural barriers:
    • cultural, behavioural
    • structural, organisational/administrative
    • technical
Fundamental prerequisites
    • governmental commitment
    • commitment to blindness prevention and eye health care
    • external commitment
    • commitment of international and NGOs, including domestic NGOs
Factors associated with staffing
    It is of utmost importance that eye professionals are expected to participate in prevention activities, not only clinical experts. In addition, the managerial skills of eye professionals are also important. This could be measured by:
    A Clinical capacity (level of clinical standard)
        • subspecialisation
        • the rate of IOL usage
    B Managerial capacity (level of public training)
        • the number of blindness prevention workshops and training courses