Survey of blindness in rural communities of south-western Nigeria

Trop Med Int Health. 1996 Oct;1(5):672-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.1996.tb00093.x.


A population based survey of rural communities in the Akinlalu-Ashipa ward of Ife North Local Government in Osun State, Nigeria, was conducted to determine the prevalence and causes of blindness. 2921 inhabitants were screened by a random cluster sample technique, out of whom 27 were blind in both eyes. The overall prevalence rate of blindness (best corrected visual acuity less than 3/60 in the better eye) was found to be 0.9% (95% confidence interval 0.84-0.96%). The rate of blindness increased with age, especially from age 60. The major causes of blindness were cataract and its sequelae (48.1%), onchocerciasis (14.8%), primary open angle type glaucoma (11.1%), corneal scar/phthisis bulbi (7.4%) and optic atrophy (7.4%). About half of the blindness is potentially curable through cataract surgery, and a third preventable through health education, early diagnosis and prompt treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blindness / epidemiology*
  • Blindness / etiology*
  • Blindness / prevention & control
  • Cataract / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / complications
  • Glaucoma / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Onchocerciasis / complications
  • Prevalence
  • Random Allocation
  • Rural Population