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In 2020, cataract remained the first or second cause of vision loss in all world regions. Cataract can at present only be treated operatively, by a trained surgeon within a system that has the capacity to deliver surgeries and manage any post-operative complications.
Because prevalence increases with age and is higher in females than males, it remains an important focus for vision loss alleviation and for addressing gender equity.
Outreach screening has been shown to enhance equity of access among under-served groups such as women and the elderly. Robust eye care systems supplemented by community outreach as principal strategies are recommended as effective strategies.
Cataract is included in most national plans for the prevention of blindness. The Universal eye health: a global action plan 2014–2019 from the WHO mandates that national governments collect data on cataract indicators of blindness and visual impairment.
The following indicators are relevant to cataract service delivery:
There are several indicators available for cataract service delivery:
A high CSR alone may not reflect ‘good’ cataract services, so eCSC is a better indicator than CSR or CSC in terms of measuring the extent to which the need for cataract surgery in a population is being met by an eye health system. Data on eCSC are not yet widely available, but feature in the country dashboards for 20 countries (using operable cataract 6/60 and ‘good’ outcome 6/18) (Ramke et al., 2017).
Adelson, J., Bourne, R., Briant, P., Flaxman, S., Taylor, H., Jonas, J., Abdoli, A., Abrha, W., Abualhasan, A., Abu-Gharbieh, E. and Adal, T. (2020). Causes of blindness and vision impairment in 2020 and trends over 30 years, and prevalence of avoidable blindness in relation to VISION 2020: the Right to Sight: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet Global Health.