Rapid assessment of cataract surgical outcome at pension pay points in Port Harcourt, Southern Nigeria

  • A. A. Onua
  • I. O. Chukwuka
  • C. N. Pedro-Egbe

Abstract

Background: Cataract is a major cause of blindness globally and primarily a disease of the elderly people. In Nigeria, retirees from public service fall under this category. Compulsory retirement age for all grades in the public service in Nigeria is 60 years, Judicial Officers and Academic Staff of Universities retire at 70 and 65 years respectively. The pension pay points provide an ideal situation for rapid cataract assessment or case finding in the elderly people.
Aim:  To report the results of rapid assessment of cataract surgical outcome among retired public servants at pension pay points in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Methods: Participants were retired public servants who consented to ocular examinations at pension pay points in Port Harcourt. Visual acuity, ocular examinations including fundoscopy and intra-ocular pressure measurements were recorded and analyzed using SPSS version 20.
Results: Five hundred and ninety two persons were studied; 455 males and 137 females (M: F=3.3:1). Mean age was 68.7± 7.6 years (range 56 to 97 years). Prevalence of blindness from cataract was 9.5%. Seventy-three pensioners (12.3%) had undergone one form of cataract surgery or the other. The visual outcome in the operated eyes was worse than the recommended World Health Organization standard in 61.6% of surgeries performed.
Conclusion: Cataract surgical services and cataract surgical rate among retirees from public service are low in our locality. It is expedient to step up intervention programmes to reduce the backlog of cataract blindness and obtain better quality of cataract surgical outcome.

Keywords: Cataract, Pensioners, Rapid assessment

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eISSN: 0795-3038