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West Afr J Med. 2008 Oct;27(4):238-44.

Prevalence of blindness and low vision in north central, Nigeria.

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  • 1Community Ophthalmology Department, National Eye Centre, PMB 2267, Kaduna, Nigeria.



The Kaduna State of Nigeria Eye Care Programme (KSECP) is a state-wide community-based eye care programme designed in the model of the World Health Organisation global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness by the year 2020--Vision 2020.


To provide baseline data for the monitoring and evaluation of the KSECP.


The study was a cross-sectional population-based survey that covered the state. A total of 8,400 people of all ages were planned to be examined across the three health zones of the state. The study population was selected by a stratified 2-stage cluster sampling technique, in which 120 communities across the health zones were randomly selected by probability proportional to size (PPS). In each chosen community 70 people of all ages were chosen randomly. Each selected person had visual acuity tested and eyes examined. Persons with vision worse than 6/18 in any of the eyes were assessed further to identify the cause(s) of visual impairment.


The prevalence of blindness in the state was 0.6% (CI95% 0.4-0.8), while the prevalence of low vision was 3.2% (CI95% 2.8-3.6%). The main causes of blindness were cataract 14 (37.8%), glaucoma 8 (21.6%), and refractive error 3 (8.1%). The cataract surgical coverage (for persons) in the state for visual acuity less than 3/60 was 51.2%. Even then there were at least 6,854 people blinded by cataract in need of cataract surgical services across the state.


Kaduna state has lower blindness prevalence than many neighbouring states. There is a huge unmet need in cataract, glaucoma and refractive error services in the state.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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