Status: Recently completed
Study specific objectives were:
Sierra Leone is located on the West coast of Africa, sharing its land borders with Guinea and Liberia. At the time of the study, the country had a population of about 5.9 million people and was divided into four administrative regions; the Northern, Southern and Eastern provinces, and the Western Area where the capital city of Freetown is located.
The national Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey conducted in 2010/2011, estimated the prevalence of blindness among people aged 50+ years at 5.9%. Over 91% of blindness was considered to be avoidable. Cataract was the major cause of blindness and severe visual impairment (SVI), followed by glaucoma.
Sightsavers has been working in Sierra Leone since the 1950s. In 2012, Sightsavers and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) started a four-year project to support eye care and disability services throughout the country. The project has been funded by the European Commission (EC) and the Standard Chartered Bank. The study presented in this report was integrated in this project and aimed to assess population knowledge, attitudes and practices with regards to eye health and disability and explore the experiences of people with disabilities in accessing health care and other services.