Cataract Barriers

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What are the barriers to cataract surgery in Asia and Africa, and how can we adjust the current strategy on eliminating avoidable cataract blindness?

A literature study about the barriers and impact of cataract surgery in developing countries in Asia and Africa.

Ilkay Evren
Global Health
Begeleider: Marianne van Elteren
Purpose: More than 50% of blindness is caused by cataract. Various programs like the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2020 focus on eliminating blindness. The growing population generates a more difficult challenge in order to achieve this. Additionally developing countries in Asia and Africa are burdened with major barriers. These barriers prevent patients to undergo
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in rural China were mainly within the family setting. Elderly people in China are dependent on the younger generation for fulfilment of their financial needs, making it more difficult to undergo surgery. This withholds the patients to undergo cataract surgery due to family duties. More attention should be paid to education within family settings, so that they can benefit from the cataract surgery. As it is shown by (Kuper, 2010) et al. cataract surgery can contribute to poverty alleviation by creating a more positive economic situation. By affecting one family member, others could also profit from this treatment. Another barrier mentioned by (Zhang, 2014) et al. is ‘the lack of trust in doctors’. This is troubling, considering the fact that doctors are highly respected in most other countries. This study was conducted in rural China, where participants undergo surgery in low-cost settings. Some patients believe the doctors in the rural areas are simply not good enough to perform surgery or mistrust the commercialism of the medical care in China. One limitation of this study is the low amount of males interviewed. Interviews were exclusively conducted during work hours, when the males generally are working and not available to participate. Another limitation is that the participants were interviewed by two different methods, face-to-face and via telephone. However (Zhang, 2014) et al. concluded that there was no significant…show more content…
Main barrier found was unawareness of treatment (44.3%) Furthermore, unreal belief about the maturity of cataract and necessity of surgery (11.4%)

Ojo P Odugbo (2012) – Cataract blindness, surgical coverage, outcome, and barriers to uptake the cataract services in Plateau State, Nigeria Population-based cross-sectional survery 4200 adults Costs may be recued by decreasing the cost of surgery
-reducing cost of supplies and equipment and efficiency. Cataract services were unaffordable to most individuals who are blind due to cataract. Most frequent reason 53 (41,1%)

43 (33.6% subjects were unaware of treatment.
Zelalem Addisu Mehari (2013) – Barriers to cataract surgical uptake in central ethiopia 146 subjects were

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