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Prevalence and causes of blindness, visual impairment, and cataract surgery in Timor-Leste


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Correia, M, Das, T, Magno, J, Pereira, BM, Andrade, V, Limburg, H, Trevelyan, J, Keeffe, J, Verma, N and Sapkota, Y 2017 , 'Prevalence and causes of blindness, visual impairment, and cataract surgery in Timor-Leste' , Clinical Ophthalmology, vol. 11 , pp. 2125-2131 , doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S146901.

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Purpose: To estimate the prevalence and causes of blindness and visual impairment, cataractsurgical coverage (CSC), visual outcome of cataract surgery, and barriers to uptake cataractsurgery in Timor-Leste.Method: In a nationwide rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB), the latest population(1,066,409) and household data were used to create a sampling frame which consists of2,227 population units (study clusters) from all 13 districts, with populations of 450–900 perunit. The sample size of 3,350 was calculated with the assumed prevalence of blindness at 4.5%among people aged $50 years with a 20% tolerable error, 95% CI, and a 90% response rate.The team was trained in the survey methodology, and inter-observer variation was measured.Door-to-door visits, led by an ophthalmologist, were made in preselected study clusters, anddata were collected in line with the RAAB5 survey protocol. An Android smart phone installedwith mRAAB software was used for data collection.Result: The age–gender standardized prevalence of blindness, severe visual impairment, andvisual impairment were 2.8%, (1.8–3.8), 1.7% (1.7–2.3), and 8.1% (6.6–9.6), respectively.Cataract was the leading cause of blindness (79.4%). Blindness was more prevalent in the olderage group and in women. CSC was 41.5% in cataract blind eyes and 48.6% in cataract blindpeople. Good visual outcome in the cataract-operated eyes was 62% (presenting) and 75.2%(best corrected). Two important barriers to not using available cataract surgical services wereaccessibility (45.5%) and lack of attendants to accompany (24.8%).Conclusion: The prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in Timor-Leste remains high.CSC is unacceptably low; gender inequity in blindness and CSC exists. Lack of access is theprominent barrier to cataract surgery.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Correia, M and Das, T and Magno, J and Pereira, BM and Andrade, V and Limburg, H and Trevelyan, J and Keeffe, J and Verma, N and Sapkota, Y
Keywords: blindness, prevalence, Timor, RAAB, population based survey
Journal or Publication Title: Clinical Ophthalmology
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
ISSN: 1177-5467
DOI / ID Number: 10.2147/OPTH.S146901
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Correia et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)

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