Scaling cataract surgical programme: 10GA course

Rohit Khanna

Rohit Khanna writes about his upcoming 10GA course, ‘How do I scale up my cataract surgical programme?’ that focuses on strategies to increase productivity of cataract surgeries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 18 million people are bilaterally blind from cataract in the world, representing almost half of all global cases of blindness. Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness and an important cause of visual impairment across the globe.

Globally, the outputs for cataract surgeries have doubled in the past decade from 10 million to 20 million annually. However, with a rise in the aging population, there has been, only a small reduction in prevalence of cataract blindness. Also of note is that though the number of cataract surgeries has increased, in many cases these are done with much better acuities and not necessarily in those that are truly blind or with severe visual impairment.

In some developing countries like India and China, the population of those who are 65 years old and above has doubled in the past two decades. Hence, despite the small reduction in prevalence of cataract blindness, the absolute numbers have increased. Apart from this there is also significant variability in cataract surgical rates (CSR) in different regions, countries as well as sub-regions within countries.

Other factors, which can affect output, are good leadership, governance, well trained human resources, finances etc. Despite all these odds, there are models across the globe, which have shown an increase in productivity in terms of output of cataract surgeries and thus showing a reduction in prevalence of blindness.

This course will explore various strategies used by projects in different regions across the globe, shedding light on: what they have in common, how they adapted to local circumstances to become successful and  allow for growth in the services provided. These include outreach activities, alternative financing, development plans, purchasing strategies, training of different cadres of eye health workers and more.

So, don’t miss the course on 29 October, to understand the key principles for increasing the cataract surgical outputs.