The aim of this study was to understand cataract surgery uptake in the context of a community-based eye care intervention that eliminated some of the known barriers to cataract surgery uptake, i.e. user fees and transport.
The specific objectives of the study were as follows:
To evaluate the decision-making processes among individuals referred for cataract surgery including the role of gender and disability.
Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries and in Africa, cataract contributes to approximately half of all causes of blindness. Eye conditions in Zambia are ranked seventh among the main causes of hospital admissions and account for 31% of all out-patient visits at public facilities. The prevalence of blindness in Zambia is estimated at 1.1% in the general population and 2.8% in people aged 50 years and above with cataract being the leading cause. This study sought to understand demand for cataract surgery and investigate the programme/health system, community and individual factors that influence cataract surgery uptake in the context of a programme that eliminated some of the known barriers to cataract surgery.