Line separator



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


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


Pakistan National Eye Survey Study Group




British Journal of Ophthalmology


  • 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.