Document Type : Research Article
Background: To estimate the prevalence of cataract surgical coverage (CSC), its barriers, and unmet need of cataract surgical services among people above 60 years in rural population in Kerala.
Materials and Methods: The study design was community based cross-sectional survey of 340 subjects of 60 years and above using a multi stage cluster sampling technique. Participants were interviewed with pre- tested questionnaire to collect information on demographics, CSC and barriers of cataract surgery. Pen torch was used for eye examination. Data was entered in Excel and analysed by SPSS. Using appropriate bivariate and multivariate methods and gender analysis of the determinants of CSC was done.
Results: Prevalence of cataract surgery in persons operated in one or other eye was 59.6 % (women 58.7 %, men 62.9 %). CSC was lower in women compared to men. Barriers of surgery were experienced by 40.4 % of the people with cataract, the common reason for it being ‘no one to accompany’.
Conclusion: Gender disparities and poorer access to services in rural areas are still a challenge. Results indicate that we should continue to prioritize cataract surgical services and their augmentation, particularly among the aged and women.