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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 145-149

Barriers to cataract surgery in Africa: A systematic review


1 Division of Ophthalmology, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa
2 Division of Ophthalmology; Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Division of Ophthalmology, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Shaheer Aboobaker
25 Protea Road, Claremont, Cape Town 7708
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.164615

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Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness in Africa. We performed a systematic literature search of articles reporting barriers to cataract surgery in Africa. PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched with the terms "barriers, cataract, Africa, cataract surgery, cataract surgical coverage (CSC), and rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB)." The review covered from 1999 to 2014. In RAAB studies, barriers related to awareness and access were more commonly reported than acceptance. Other type of studies reported cost as the most common barrier. Some qualitative studies tended to report community and family dynamics as barriers to cataract surgery. CSC was lower in females in 88.2% of the studies. The variability in outcomes of studies of barriers to cataract surgery could be due to context and the type of data collection. It is likely that qualitative data will provide a deeper understanding of the complex social, family, community, financial and gender issues relating to barriers to uptake of cataract surgery in Africa.


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