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Cataract No.1 cause of blindness in Viet Nam

Update: November, 05/2015 - 10:57
An ophthalmologist is examining a cataract patient. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Cataract still accounts for 74 per cent of people in Viet Nam despite all combating efforts from the health care sector in recent years, a survey on avoidable blindness has revealed.

The survey, which was conducted by the Ministry of Health this year, examined over 28,000 elderly people over the age of 50 in 14 localities, diagnosed with losing their eyesight, and found that the number of low vision patients due to cataract had doubled in seven years, while the annual number of surgeries conducted was as low as 1,870 cases.

Dr Vuong Aùnh Duong, head of Hospital Quality Management estimated that cataract operations need to be raised to between 4,000 and 5,000 cases per year to avoid impaired vision.

Experts said patients need to raise awareness of the importance of early operations as it is estimated that 75 per cent of cases of blindness in people over 50 years old are treatable.

The survey also found that glaucoma and refractive errors are the other two leading reasons for vision loss.

Duong said that the prevalence of blindness generally this year fell to 1.8 per cent compared to 3.2 per cent in 2007 and 2008.

Low vision patients also declined from 13.6 per cent to 11.4 per cent in seven years.

However the rate is not evenly distributed in all provinces, which means some reported reduction while the other saw an increase, Duong said. — VNS

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