Authors: Jiang Junhong, Ye Cong, Liang Yuanbo
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Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.Screening for glaucoma is a critical intervention to identify individuals at an earlier stage of the disease.However, there is controversy about the necessity of glaucoma screening.Screening is a critical intervention for primary prevention of disease.The screening which suited to the level of our economic development has important benefits for our country, society, families and individuals.Glaucoma has fulfils the criteria of WHO for population screening: (1)Glaucoma is a major public health problem in the world.(2)Glaucoma can be detected in its earlier stage.(3)There are suitable and acceptable examinations for glaucoma screening.(4)Early detection and subsequent treatment could delay or retard glaucoma disease progression.(5)With appropriate strategy design, glaucoma screening can creat good economic benefit.The screening strategies depend on the level of social economy development, the health policies of developed areas tend to prevent disease in its early stages.In poor areas, the limited medical resources are used to treat patients in the advanced stages.In the relatively developed area with complete health care facilities and incomplete referral mechanisms, screening for glaucoma is a critical intervention to identify individuals at an earlier stage of the disease.Glaucoma Screening project in Wenzhou suggested that screening should be implement in relatively developed regions of high density of population to improve efficiency; screening should aim for multiple eye diseases to lower the cost per unit benefit.