Prevalence of Retinal Diseases and Associated Risk Factors in an African Population From Mwanza, Tanzania

Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2020 May 1;51(5):S17-S25. doi: 10.3928/23258160-20200108-03.


Background and objective: To determine the prevalence of retinal disease among a population in Mwanza, Tanzania, and to identify relevant risk factors for retinal disorders in this cohort.

Patients and methods: A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted in Mwanza, Tanzania, among patients older than 18 years. Participants completed a demographics survey and underwent an ophthalmic examination that included fundus photography.

Results: Complete data were available for 1,007 (93.8%) of the 1,073 persons examined. The prevalence of vitreoretinal disorders was 22.8% (230/1,007). The leading retinal diseases were age-related macular degeneration (7.0%), hypertensive retinopathy (4.5%), and macular scars (2.7%).

Conclusion: This study is the first population-based study of retinal disease in Mwanza. The findings reveal a considerable burden of retinal disease in this region, suggesting a need for trained local ophthalmic personnel and resources. [Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2020;51:S17-S25.].

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural