The Gambia National Eye Health Survey 2019: survey protocol
Two national surveys of vision impairment and blindness were undertaken in The Gambia in 1986 and 1996. These provided data for the inception of The Gambia’s National Eye Health Programme (NEHP) within the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. There have been important developments in the eye health services provided by the NEHP in the last 20 years. At the same time, the population has also undergone major demographic changes that may have led to substantial changes in the burden of eye disease. We conducted a National Eye Health Survey of vision impairment, blindness and its comorbidities in adults in The Gambia in 2019. We examined a nationally representative population-based sample of adults 35 years and above to permit direct comparison with the data available from the previous surveys. Alongside a comprehensive vision and eye examination, the survey provides nationally representative data on important comorbidities in this population: diabetes, hypertension, obesity, hearing impairment, disability and mental health. Secondly, it estimates access to assistive technologies and eye health services. Thirdly, it is powered to allow a five-year follow up cohort study to measure the incidence and progression of eye disease.