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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 389-393

Assessment of avoidable blindness using the rapid assessment of avoidable blindness methodology


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, Tamaka, Kolar, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, Tamaka, Kolar, Karnataka, India
3 Senior Public Health Specialist, Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Guruprasad S Bettadapura
Department of Ophthalmology, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Tamaka, Kolar, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: Funding from Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research (SDUAHER), Kolar., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.100982

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Background: More than 90% of visual impairment can either be treated or avoided. Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness methodology provides valid estimates in short time to assess magnitude and causes of blindness. Aims : To estimate the prevalence and causes of blindness in persons above 50 years in Kolar, South India, using the above methodology. Materials and Methods: Sixty one clusters of 50 people aged above 50 years were selected by probability-proportionate to size sampling. Participants were evaluated using a standardized survey form. Persons with vision <20/60 were dilated and examined by an ophthalmologist. Results: Of the 3050 people listed 2907 were examined (95.3%). Prevalence of bilateral blindness in persons was 3.9%; severe visual impairment 3.5%, and visual impairment 10.4%. Untreated cataract was the leading cause of blindness (74.6%) and severe visual impairment (73.3%). Avoidable causes of blindness accounted for 91.2% of all blindness and 95.0% of severe visual impairment. 'Waiting for maturity' and 'No one to accompany' were the most common barriers to uptake of cataract surgery. Conclusion: Untreated cataract continues to be the leading cause of avoidable blindness. Modified strategies need to be implemented to tackle the burden of cataract blindness.


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