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Lucy Cobbs, Edmund Tsui, Jordan Lee, Lisa Park; Survey of cataract surgery in Ethiopia: an update on current practices. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):2000.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Cataract is the primary cause of blindness and low vision in Ethiopia, where there are approximately 100 practicing ophthalmologists. Our previous study found that Ethiopia’s level of cataract surgery was insufficient to meet the country’s clinical needs. In this study, we surveyed ophthalmologists from the Ophthalmological Society of Ethiopia to compare the current practice of cataract surgery to that reported in our 2014 study.
An online questionnaire was distributed to Ophthalmological Society of Ethiopia on November 2, 2015. Information on current practices, including years in practice, method of cataract extraction, and use of educational videos, were collected and analyzed. Data from our 2014 survey was used for comparison.
32 surveys were completed. Average number of years in practice was 8.51±7.39 years (range 0.67-25 years). Thirty-one out of thirty-two (97%) of respondents reported currently performing ECCE, compared to 2014’s 25/29 (86%) of respondents who reported performing ECCE. Number of ECCE performed per year in 2015 was: <300 (n=5), 300-500 (n=11), 500-1000 (n=10), >1000 (n=4). Seven ophthalmologists responded to both the 2014 and 2015 surveys. Three reported performing more ECCEs in 2015 than in 2014. Regarding phacoemulsification, in 2015, eight out of thirty-two (25%) of respondents reported performing the procedure, compared to 2014’s 9/29 (31%). Total number of phacoemulsification cases per surgeon ranged from 10-25 to more than 100. Surgeons learned phacoemulsification through teaching programs in Ethiopia (n=3) and abroad (n=8). 84% of surgeons reported watching phacoemulsification surgery videos. Resources used were: YouTube (56%), the American Academy of Ophthalmology website (33%), DVD (30%), Eyetube (22%), and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery website (11%).
Compared to our 2014 study, there has been an increase in the percentage of respondents who currently perform ECCE, but no increase in the percentage who reported performing phacoemulsification. This data suggests that ongoing teaching missions are beneficial, but more work is needed to implement phacoemulsification techniques. Although phacoemulsification is not routinely performed by Ethiopian ophthalmologists, the majority of Ethiopian ophthalmologists are seeking further education regarding this technique.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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