Aim: To determine the cataract surgical coverage (CSC) in the close proximity of Nkhoma Hospital, Malawi.
Method: A rapid epidemiological assessment of the population aged 40 years and over was undertaken to determine the proportion of eyes and patients with cataract blindness that had previously received cataract surgery within a 10-mile radius of the hospital.
Results: A total of 993 people aged 40 years and above from all 31 small villages in the 10-mile radius were examined. The prevalence of blindness in this age group was 3.72%, of which 62% was due to cataract. The cataract surgical coverage for people with blinding cataract was calculated at 14.8%, and for eyes with cataract (visual acuity <3/60) 8.5%.
Conclusion: Nkhoma Hospital has provided affordable cataract surgery for more than 20 years. Despite this, within a ten-mile radius of the hospital, only 1 in 7 people with bilateral blindness from cataract has received surgery.