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K. S. Naidoo, B. Holden, D. Sweeney, M. Colvin; Design of a Blindness Prevention Reporting and Planning Tool Utilising the Results of a Population Based Study of Visual Impairment in a Health District in Kwazulu-Natal. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):327.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To develop a blindness prevention tool for planning and monitoring of eye and vision care by utilising the epidemiological data from the Lower Tugela health district
A comprehensive population-based study of blindness and visual impairment was conducted to develop a profile of the Lower Tugela health district. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a randomly selected sample of 3444 individuals from the district. Quantitative data from the epidemiological study was mined to develop the Blindness Prevention Tool (BPT).
6.4% of the population studied were visually impaired. The main causes of visual impairment (presenting vision in the best eye of less than 6/18) were refractive error (44.5%), cataract (31.2%), glaucoma (6.0%), hypertensive retinopathy (4.1%) and diabetic retinopathy (1.4%).Thirty-one subjects (0.9%) were bilaterally blind with the main causes being cataracts (54.8%) and refractive error (12.9%). Glaucoma and hypertensive retinopathy were responsible for 6.4% of bilateral blindness. Diabetic retinopathy, other retinal conditions (Coloboma) and corneal scarring were each responsible for 3.2% of bilateral blindness. Albinism, Colomboma and AMD accounted for 9.7% of bilateral blindness.The Blindness Prevention Tool developed using the prevalence data was used to project human resource needs; generate basic epidemiological calculations and provide standardized reporting to motivate for a greater culture of reporting and monitoring.
This study reflects the value of epidemiological evaluations beyond just describing trends in different communities. Integrating epidemiological data in program work can ensure maximum output from eye care programs by ensuring good planning, monitoring and reporting activity.
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