Establishing a screening programme for diabetic retinopathy in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania using intervention mapping

Claudette E. Hall*, Anthony B. Hall, Joyse Mallya, Paul Courtright, Gerjo Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The Kilimanjaro Diabetic Programme used the Intervention Mapping framework to develop a theory- and evidence-based diabetic retinopathy screening programme. A Working Committee of health care workers and stakeholders ensured community engagement and empowerment of the target audience.

OBJECTIVES: To deliver a culturally appropriate, sustainable, community supported health intervention, promoting eye health behaviour change, to prevent avoidable blindness.

METHODS: The six steps of the Intervention Mapping protocol incorporated eight components: (1) a needs assessment of people with diabetes and health care workers (2) a clinical trial of diabetic retinopathy screening modes, (3) comic strips as a motivational strategy for diabetic retinopathy screening uptake, (4) health care worker education (5) an electronic database of people with diabetes (6) a self-carry diary (7) implementation of mobile diabetic retinopathy retinal screening (8) process and outcome programme evaluation.

RESULTS: The programme eliminated barriers to diabetic retinopathy screening in Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre eye and diabetic clinics, placing a digital retinal screening camera in the diabetic clinic and a fast-track screening system in the eye clinic. Two comic strips and a diary provided information about self-management and record of medications, treatment, blood sugar and blood pressure at clinic visits. An annual rural health care worker education programme met requests for knowledge on treatment and care of diabetes, targeting prevention of diabetic retinopathy. Rural digital retinal screening was implemented. Rural diabetes clinics were initiated.

CONCLUSIONS: Intervention Mapping provided a systematic, iterative model to formulate and deliver an urban and rural diabetic retinopathy screening programme.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN31439939. Details available at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
Issue numberSuppl 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Needs Assessment
  • Tanzania


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