Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Cataract blindness and barriers to uptake of cataract surgery in a rural community of northern Nigeria
  1. Mansur M Rabiu
  1. The National Eye Centre Kaduna, Nigeria
  1. Department of Clinical Ophthalmology, National Eye Centre, PMB 2267, Kaduna, Nigeriamrabiu{at}


AIMS A population based cross sectional survey was conducted to determine the magnitude of cataract blindness and the barriers to uptake of cataract services in a rural community of northern Nigeria.

METHODS 1461 people out of 1924 registered eligible people were examined. The study population was chosen by two stage cluster random sampling. In the first sampling stage 15 villages were randomly chosen while in the final stage 170 people who were 40 years and over were selected in each village. Each selected person had visual acuity recorded for both eyes. Those with vision of less than 3/60 in the better eye were assessed for cataract. People with cataract were asked why they had not sought medical attention.

RESULTS A blindness prevalence of 8.2% (95% CI 5.8%–10.5%) was found among the sampled population. Cataract was responsible for 44.2% of the blindness. Thus, a cataract blindness prevalence of 3.6% was found. The cataract surgical coverage (people) was 4.0% and the couching coverage (people) was 18%. The main barrier to seeking cataract surgery was cost of the service (61%).

CONCLUSION Some regions of the world still have high burden of cataract blindness that needs attention. Such areas need an effective free cataract outreach programme.

  • cataract
  • blindness
  • Nigeria

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.