: Microbial keratitis (MK) frequently leads to sight-loss, especially when the infection is severe and/or appropriate treatment is delayed. The primary health system as an entry point plays a central role in facilitating and directing patient access to appropriate care. The purpose of this study was to describe the capacity of primary health centres in Uganda in managing MK. : We carried out a rigorous assessment of primary health centres and mid-cadre training schools in South Western Uganda. Through interviews, checklists and a picture quiz, we assessed capacity and knowledge of MK management. In addition, we interviewed the heads of all the mid-cadre training schools to determine the level of eye health training provided in their curricula. : In total, 163 health facilities and 16 training schools were enrolled. Of the health facilities, only 6% had an Ophthalmic Clinical Officer. Only 12% of the health workers could make a diagnosis of MK based on the clinical signs in the picture quiz. Although 35% of the facilities had a microscope, none reported doing corneal scraping. None of the facilities had a stock of the recommended first line treatment options for MK (ciprofloxacin and natamycin eye drops). Among the training schools, 15/16 had an eye health component in the curriculum. However, the majority (56%) of tutors had no formal expertise in eye health. In 14/16 schools, students spent an average of two weeks in an eye unit. : Knowledge among health workers and capacity of health facilities in diagnosis and management of MK was low. Training for eye health within mid-cadre training schools was inadequate. More is needed to close these gaps in training and capacity.
Copyright: © 2019 Arunga S et al.