Summary of Research Results: Marwa Saleh

Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellow volunteers frequently pursue public health research studies in Unite For Sight's Global Impact Lab program. The research topics are developed by Unite For Sight and the partner eye clinics, the research studies are approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the research findings are submitted to the eye clinic partners for program development.

Marwa Saleh, "Survey Evaluation of Community Health Workers at Unite For Sight's Partner Clinics in Ghana"

This study aims to, first, assess Community Health Workers’ and outreach volunteers’ knowledge of eye care practices, and, second, survey their perceptions of barriers to care for hard-to-reach patients. Data was collected from 23 participants at outreaches conducted by Crystal Eye Clinic in Ghana in the summer 2012. On average, participants correctly answered 3.30 of 5 questions about eye diseases and treatments. This result indicates the need for continued training, but further research is needed to determine whether a difference exists between formal CHW’s and informal volunteers. Participant interviews revealed that financial concerns, fear, lack of transportation and lack of time contributed to high levels of unmet need in their communities. Common misconceptions regarding eye care included the beliefs that treatment would lead to a poor outcome and that surgery involved removing the eye. Participants also reported widespread use of home remedies. Identifying these barriers and misperceptions will allow Unite For Sight partners to better address patient concerns.