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Reducing inequity of cataract blindness and vision impairment is a global priority, but where is the evidence?
  1. Jacqueline Ramke1,2,
  2. Jennifer R Evans2,
  3. Clare E Gilbert2
  1. 1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2 Clinical Research Unit, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jacqueline Ramke, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; j.ramke{at}


Throughout the world, people who are socially or economically disadvantaged disproportionately experience blindness and vision impairment caused by cataract. Reducing vision loss from cataract and its unequal distribution must be a priority if the WHO’s aim of ‘universal eye health’ is to be realised. To help achieve this, decision-makers and service planners need evidence on which strategies improve access to cataract services among disadvantaged populations, and under what circumstances. Unfortunately, despite many strategies to improve cataract services being implemented in recent decades, evidence of what works, for who and in what circumstances is not readily available. This paper summarises the extent of the evidence on interventions to reduce inequity of vision loss from cataract and makes suggestions for how the evidence base can be strengthened.

  • Public health

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  • Contributors JR conceived this work and drafted and revised the manuscript. JRE and CEG conceived this work and critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors approved the submission and agree to be accountable for the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.