Causes of Blindness and Visual Impairment in Pakistan. the Pakistan National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey

  • The purpose of this study was to determine the causes of blindness and visual impairment in adults (⩾30 years old) in Pakistan, and to explore socio-demographic variations in cause.

  • This was a multi-stage, stratified, cluster random sampling survey was used to select a nationally representative sample of adults. A sample of 16 507 adults (95.5% of those enumerated) was examined.

  • Among the moderately visually impaired (<6/18 to ⩾6/60), refractive error was the most common cause (43%), followed by cataract (42%).

  • Refractive error as a cause of severe visual impairment/blindness was significantly higher in rural dwellers than in urban dwellers (odds ratio (OR) 3.5, 95% CI 1.1 to 11.7)

  • Overall, the authors estimate that 85.5% of causes were avoidable and that 904 000 adults in Pakistan have cataract (<6/60) requiring surgical intervention.

  • Services for refractive errors need to be further expanded and integrated into eye care services, particularly those serving rural populations.

Publication date

March 7, 2018


British Journal of Ophthalmology

Sponsor Institution

Pakistan National Eye Survey Study Group


B Dineen, R R A Bourne, Z Jadoon, S P Shah, M A Khan, A Foster, C E Gilbert, M D Khan
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