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BLINDNESS IN RURAL INDIA
A rural population aged 40 and over showed a high prevalence of blindness in both eyes (3.36%) between June 2001 and May 2003 in Tamil Nadu, India. Almost 75% of this blindness was caused by treatable cataract with another 7.2% probably related to cataract surgery, according to the Chennai glaucoma study. The survey covered 3924 subjects (55% women), with a mean age of 53.78. As expected the prevalence of blindness increased with age, with a 28-fold increase between the age groups 40–49 and 80+. Public health programmes in India need to address the quality of cataract surgery in blindness control to reduce the levels blindness. (
EYE CARE IN NEPAL
The Himalaya Eye Hospital was established in 1993 to provide eye care services in some areas of Nepal. To assess the impact of its outreach programme a survey was carried out in 2002 on 5002 people aged 45 and older. Blindness, defined as presenting visual acuity of less than 6/60 in both eyes, was found in 2.6% of the survey population. Of the blind, cataract was the principal cause (60.5%) with refractive error …