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Ghana Med J. 2005 Jun;39(2):55-62.

Prevalence of blindness in people over 40 years in the volta region of ghana.

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  • 1Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Loma Linda, CA, USA 92350.


SummaryIn 2001, we conducted a population-based cluster survey of the prevalence of blindness and glaucoma in three districts of the Volta region of Ghana, West Africa. A secondary purpose was to assess the presenting visual acuities of individuals who had undergone extracapsular cataract extraction with an intraocular lens implant (ECCE/IOL) and intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE). The target population consisted of 2400 adults, aged 40 years and older, of whom, 2298 (95.7%) were examined. The prevalence of moderate to severe bilateral blindness was found to be 4.4 %. The main causes of blindness were cataract and glaucoma (53.9% and 20.6%, respectively). Eighty-one percent of the blind had preventable or treatable causes. Nine percent of the population >/=40 years needed cataract surgery in one or both eyes for vision </=6/18. The corrected prevalence of glaucoma in one or both eyes was 7.5%. There were 51 individuals who had undergone cataract surgery, all of whom had been operated in Ghana. Those who had ECCE/IOL surgery had a presenting visual acuity of 20/60 or better in 65% of eyes while those who had ICCE surgery achieved this level in only 30% of eyes [p=0.02].

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