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Barriers and incentives for conducting research amongst the ophthalmologists in Sub-Sahara Africa.

A new interesting article has been published in PLoS One. 2018 Oct 23;13(10):e0197945. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197945. eCollection 2018. and titled:

Barriers and incentives for conducting research amongst the ophthalmologists in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Authors of this article are:

Dhalla KA, Guirguis M.

A summary of the article is shown below:

BACKGROUND: Research is a critical component amongst the strategies to improve health outcomes of any country. The role of research assumes greater importance in Africa as it carries a larger share of the global burden of diseases, blindness, and low vision. “Vision 2020- the Right to Sight” is a WHO-IAPB collaborated initiative aiming to eliminate preventable blindness by the year 2020. High quality research in eye care is imperative for the initiative to succeed, however, there is a dearth of research in eye care in sub-Saharan Africa in general and specifically in the Eastern, Central, and Southern African (ECSA) region. Identifying the barriers that hamper research in this region is an important step towards the elimination of preventable blindness.METHODS: A structured questionnaire using the SurveyMonkey program was sent to ophthalmologists in the ECSA region and South Africa through their respective regional professional bodies.RESULTS: Lack of funding, inadequate time and poor research knowledge were the main research barriers while the ability to improve eye health care through research was the main incentive for conducting research. The response rate for South Africa was low, restricting comparisons with other ECSA countries.CONCLUSION: The barriers mainly center on financial, human and administrative infrastructure and resources. In spite of the barriers, ophthalmologists in the study region are enthusiastic in research aiming to increase evidence-based knowledge to improve eye health care in line with the goals of “Vision 2020- the Right to Sight” initiative.

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