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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 229-233

Barriers to cataract surgical uptake in central ethiopia

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Grarbet Eye Hospital, Butajira, Ethiopia
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Grarbet Tehadiso Mahber, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Correspondence Address:
Zelalem Addisu Mehari
Department of Ophthalmology, Grarbet Eye Hospital, P.O. Box 58, Butajira
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.114798

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Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the factors that delay surgical intervention in patients suffering from age related mature cataract in Ethiopia. Materials and Methods: A short term descriptive study was performed that evaluated patients with mature cataract presenting to outreach eye care clinics in rural central Ethiopia. Patients were interviewed to determine the reasons for delay in their cataract surgeries. Result: A total of 146 subjects (57 male and 89 females) with operable age related cataract were evaluated at 31 outreach clinics. Over 86% of the respondents were above 55 years of age, (range, 45-78 years). The male to female ratio was 1:1.5 and 30.2% of the subjects were blind bilaterally (best corrected visual acuity <3/60). The majority of the respondents were farmers (53.4%) and 86.3% were illiterate. The major factors that delayed cataract surgery included: Cost of surgery (91.8%), insufficient family income (78.1%), good vision in the fellow (unaffected) eye (39.7%), and the distance to hospital from their village (47.9%). Conclusion: Surgical cost, insufficient family income, and the distance to an eye care centre were the major factors delaying cataract surgery in rural Ethiopia.

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