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Outcome of paediatric cataract surgery in Northwest Ethiopia: a retrospective case series
  1. Mulusew Asferaw1,
  2. Sisay Yoseph Mekonen1,
  3. Geoffrey Woodruff2,
  4. Clare E Gilbert3,
  5. Samson Tesfaye4
  1. 1 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
  2. 2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  3. 3 Clinical Research Department, International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  4. 4 Orbis International-Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mulusew Asferaw, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; muasf{at}


Aim To assess visual acuity outcomes, and factors associated with the outcome, of paediatric cataract surgery at the Child Eye Health Tertiary Facility, Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia.

Methods The medical records of children aged below 16 years who underwent cataract surgery between September 2010 and August 2014 were reviewed for preoperative, surgical and postoperative data.

Results One hundred and seventy-six eyes of 142 children (mean age 7.9 years±4.2 SD, 66% male) who had cataract surgery were included. Twenty-five per cent (35/142) of children had bilateral cataract, 18 (13%) had unilateral non-traumatic cataracts and 89 (63%) had unilateral traumatic cataracts. An intraocular lens was implanted in 93% of eyes. Visual acuities at last follow-up: bilateral cases in the better eye: good (≥6/18 or fix and follow) in 21/34 eyes (62%), borderline (<6/18–6/60) in 4 eyes (12%) and poor (<6/60) in 9 eyes (26%). In unilateral non-traumatic cases: good in 6 eyes (33%), borderline in 3 eyes (17%) and poor in 9 eyes (50%). In unilateral traumatic cases: good in 36 eyes (40%), borderline in 20 eyes (23%) and poor in 33 eyes (37%). In bilateral cataract, worse outcomes were associated with preoperative nystagmus/strabismus. In traumatic cases, worse outcomes were associated with the preoperative trauma-related complications.

Conclusions Visual acuity improved significantly after surgery, with better outcomes in bilateral cases. Early detection and surgery by a trained surgeon with good follow-up and postoperative rehabilitation can lead to better visual outcomes.

  • paediatric cataract
  • visual outcome
  • congenital cataract
  • Ethiopia
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  • Contributors MA, SYM and ST conceived the study. MA collected the data. SYM did the statistical analysis of the data. MA, GW and CEG further analysed the data. All the authors contributed to the manuscript and approved the final draft for submission.

  • Funding  MA was supported by a mentoring grant by the British Council for the Prevention of Blindness, UK

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethical approval The protocol of the study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Gondar.

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

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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