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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-54

Prevalence of cataract among adults above 50 years in a rural community of Villupuram, Tamil Nadu

1 Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry; Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, Kondur, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sitanshu Sekhar Kar
Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry - 605 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-4220.159170

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Background: In India, overall prevalence of blindness is 1.1%, the principal cause being cataract (62.6%) affecting over 9 million people. Aim: The present study was carried out to find the prevalence, barriers and facilitating factors related to cataract health services in a rural community of Tamil Nadu. Methods: The study was carried out in four villages in sub-center Kondur, under Primary Health Centre (PHC) Kondur, Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu, during November-December 2010. All adults of more than 50 years (n = 331) residing in the sub-center Kondur, were examined for lenticular opacity and visual acuity. A structured proforma was used to assess the awareness, barriers and facilitating factors related to available cataract health services. Results: The prevalence of cataract among the population studied was 62.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 57.5-67.9%). There was a significant increase in cataract with increase in age (P < 0.001). Only 13% (95% CI: 9.6-16.3%) of the persons with cataract were operated at the time of interview. The major barriers were no one to accompany (25.5%) and absence of felt need (22.6%). Less than one-fifth (17.8%) reported the awareness of cataract as a condition affecting eye. The facilitating factors were free surgery in camps (83.7%), self-decision due to defective vision (69.7%) and quality of service provided (65.1%). More than one-half (56.7%) of subjects diagnosed for cataract during the survey were willing to be operated. Conclusion: Prevalence of cataract was high in Kondur PHC area. It is vital to increase the level of awareness regarding the need and availability of cataract health services.

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