The global burden of cataract

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To review the previous year's literature related to prevalence of blindness in general, blindness due to cataract, cataract surgical coverage (CSC) and cataract surgical rates (CSRs).

Recent findings

Cataracts are the major cause of blindness and visual impairment in developing countries and contributes to more than 90% of the total disability adjusted life years. This review shows that coverage continues to be a problem in many countries, especially for the female population, those residing in rural areas and those who are illiterate. Although CSR is an indicator of the availability and acceptability of services, for measuring the impact of the program, we should look at combining CSR with CSC. This strategy would also enable us achieve our goal of eliminating avoidable blindness due to cataracts by the year 2020.

Summary

Cataracts still continue- to be a major cause of blindness globally and with the rapidly aging population, it is a challenge to tackle. We need to plan a comprehensive strategy addressing issues related to availability, affordability, accessibility and acceptability of eye-care services.

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