“Eye health, just ... part of helping a child to thrive”: Global and national influences on integrating eye health into a child health policy in Tanzania (Preprint)

Blindness and visual loss in early childhood can have significant and long-lasting consequences, yet eye health for children under five has been neglected in many countries. In Tanzania, policy makers decided to include eye conditions in the national Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) strategy in 2019, despite eye health not being part of the global WHO/UNICEF strategy for IMNCI. This study conducted a qualitative policy analysis to understand the factors that influenced this policy change in Tanzania. The key determinants were leveraging existing policy communities and networks, consensus on framing ideas within the policy and advocacy community, generating local evidence with policy communities, and a critical IMNCI policy window in Tanzania, combined with the expansion of global child health policy. Global governance structures and major funding or civil societies did not play a significant role in the policy change. The study suggests that advocates and funders for child eye health can influence the integration of eye health into child health policies in other countries as well. Generating local evidence and clear framing of problems and solutions will be critical in promoting the inclusion of eye health into child health policies globally.


BMC Globalization and Health


Aeesha Nusrat Jehan NJ Malik; Neil Spicer; Milka Mafwiri; Clare Gilbert; Joanna Schellenberg
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