The Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology

Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology:

Issue 5, September/October 2018 Original Study - Clinical

Blindness and Visual Impairment Profile and Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness in South East Asia: Analysis of New Data. 2017 APAO Holmes Lecture.

Das, Taraprasad



Author Information


From the L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India; and International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, South East Asia.


Reprints: Taraprasad Das, MD, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Road # 2 Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500 034, India. E-mail: tpd@lvpei.org.



Abstract


Purpose: The International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) South East Asia region (SEAR) that consists of 11 countries contains 26% of the world’s population (1,761,000,000). In this region 12 million are blind and 78.5 million are visually impaired. This amounts to 30% of global blindness and 32% of global visual impairment.


Design:  Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) survey analysis.


Methods: RAAB, either a repeat or a first time survey, was completed in 8 countries in this decade (2010 onwards). These include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor Leste.


Results: Cataract is the principal cause of blindness and severe visual impairment in all countries. Refractive error is the principal cause of moderate visual impairment in 4 countries: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka; cataract continues to be the principal cause of moderate visual impairment in 4 other countries: Bhutan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Timor Leste. Outcome of cataract surgery is suboptimal in the Maldives and Timor Leste.


Conclusions: Rigorous focus is necessary to improve cataract surgery outcomes and correction of refractive error without neglecting the quality of care. At the same time allowances must be made for care of the emerging causes of visual impairment and blindness such as glaucoma and posterior segment disorders, particularly diabetic retinopathy.




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