Summary of Research Results: Nathan Hawkey

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.

Nathan Hawkey, "Assessment of Eye Care Access and the Role of Community Eye Health Workers and Volunteers in Ghana"

This study surveyed stipended Community Eye Health Workers and local informal volunteers about perceptions of barriers to care for hard-to-reach patients. Data was collected from 35 participants at outreaches conducted by Crystal Eye Clinic and Northwestern Eye Centre in Ghana during July 2012. Participant interviews revealed that community members had incorrect perceptions that deterred them from attending the outreaches provided in the local villages. Community members cited financial concerns, distance and transportation, lack of awareness, and fear. Common misconceptions regarding eye care included the beliefs that treatment would lead to blindness or permanent damage, and that surgery involved removing or replacing the eye with an animal eye, including with a cat eye.