Aim To generate data on blindness and visual impairment for planning and monitoring a comprehensive eye care programme in Katsina state of Nigeria.
Method A rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) survey methodology was used to select 3120 persons aged 50 years and over. The sample was selected using a multistage cluster randomised sampling. Each participant had visual acuity and lens assessment. Persons with vision less than 6/12 in any eye were assessed for the cause of visual impairment. Persons with cataract were asked why they had not had surgery. Data were captured electronically with the mRAAB Android-based software and analysed with STATA V.14 software.
Results A response rate of 90.1% was achieved. The age-sex adjusted blindness prevalence was 5.3% (95% CI 5.2% to 5.3%). Women were 30% more likely to be blind (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.3). The principal causes of blindness were cataract (70%), other posterior segment (12%) and glaucoma (7%); 86.7% of blindness was avoidable. The prevalence of cataract blindness is 2.6% (95% CI 2.5% to 2.6%) with higher odds in women (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.3, p<0.005). The cataract surgical coverage <6/60 for persons was 28.2% and women were 45% less likely to have had cataract surgery (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.34 to 0.78, p<0.005). The major barriers to cataract surgery are lack of felt need and the cost of services.
Conclusion Katsina state of Nigeria has high burden of avoidable blindness affecting more women. The state eye care programme should have cataract services that are more accessible, affordable and gender sensitive.
- Avoidable blindness
- cataract surgical coverage
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Contributors This research was conducted with the approval and technical support of the Katsina State Government. Study conception: MOT, MMR. Study design: MOT, MMR, NM. Data collection: KO, HA, NM. Data analysis: NM, MMR. First article draft: MOT, NM, MMR. Article review: MMR, NM, KO, HA.
Funding This study was funded by the Noor Dubai Foundation, UAE.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The Human Research and Ethics Committee of the Katsina State Ministry of Health (Katsina MOH/ADM/SUB/1152/1/181) granted ethical approval for the study.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon request.
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