Singabele EJ, Sokolo JEE, Adio AO
Blindness negatively affects quality of life and le ads to increased mortality. Available community bas ed studies showed that three quarters of the causes of blindness majorly by cataract, is avoidable. This study was conducted so as to have hospital based da ta on cataract as a cause of blindness in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, (UPT H), Nigeria. The case records of all blind patient s (visual acuity of less than 3/60 or corresponding v isual field of less than 10 0 in the better eye with the best possible correction) presenting at the out pat ient clinic for year 2008 were reviewed. Of 214 patients, Cataract was responsible for about one th ird (n=82.38.3%). The age 40-60 years had the highest proportion of bilaterally cataract blind pa tients (40%). More males were bilaterally cataract blind (n=12.60%). Most bilaterally cataract blind patient s lived in the rural areas (n=12.60%). The uptake o f surgery was poorer among bilaterally cataract blind patients with only 30% (n=6) presenting for surger y. Cataract is a leading cause of blindness in the UPT H, Nigeria and is commoner in the older age group especially among males. The rural dwellers present late especially when bilaterally blind from catarac t. Subsidizing the costs may improve the uptake of ca taract surgery in our center.
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