Objective: Cataract surgical coverage (CSC) is a useful indicator of the degree of success of a cataract intervention programme. However, because previously described methods are time-consuming and labour-intensive, they are rarely performed. This study describes a simple and inexpensive assessment of CSC based on screening of pensioners at pension delivery sites in a rural district.
Design: Random cluster-based cross-sectional survey.
Setting: State pension distribution sites in Hlabisa, a rural district in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Subjects: 562 old-age pensioners.
Method: Subjects found to be blind (visual acuity < 3/60) and those reporting a history of eye surgery were examined using a torch and direct ophthalmoscope by an ophthalmologist.
Outcome measures: Cases of blindness due to operable cataract and post-cataract surgical subjects were identified.
Results: CSC was found to be 38.5% (95% confidence interval 29.1-47.9%). Blindness prevalence was 10.3%, with 69.0% due to cataract.