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Isipradit S.,Mettapracharak Wat Rai Khing Hospital | Sirimaharaj M.,Mettapracharak Wat Rai Khing Hospital | Charukamnoetkanok P.,Mettapracharak Wat Rai Khing Hospital | Thonginnetra O.,Mettapracharak Wat Rai Khing Hospital | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: The majority of vision loss is preventable or treatable. Population surveys are crucial for planning, implementation, and monitoring policies and interventions to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairments. This is the first rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) study in Thailand. Methods: A cross-sectional study of a population in Thailand age 50 years old or over aimed to assess the prevalence and causes of blindness and visual impairments. Using the Thailand National Census 2010 as the sampling frame, a stratified four-stage cluster sampling based on a probability proportional to size was conducted in 176 enumeration areas from 11 provinces. Participants received comprehensive eye examination by ophthalmologists. Results: The age and sex adjusted prevalence of blindness (presenting visual acuity (VA) <20/400), severe visual impairment (VA <20/200 but ≥20/400), and moderate visual impairment (VA <20/70 but ≥20/200) were 0.6% (95% CI: 0.5-0.8), 1.3% (95% CI: 1.0-1.6), 12.6% (95% CI: 10.8-14.5). There was no significant difference among the four regions of Thailand. Cataract was the main cause of vision loss accounted for 69.7% of blindness. Cataract surgical coverage in persons was 95.1% for cut off VA of 20/400. Refractive errors, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and corneal opacities were responsible for 6.0%, 5.1%, 4.0%, and 2.0% of blindness respectively. Conclusion: Thailand is on track to achieve the goal of VISION 2020. However, there is still much room for improvement. Policy refinements and innovative interventions are recommended to alleviate blindness and visual impairments especially regarding the backlog of blinding cataract, management of non-communicative, chronic, age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, prevention of childhood blindness, and establishment of a robust eye health information system. © 2014 Isipradit et al. Source

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