Preliminary clinical outcomes from the Peruvian National Cataract Elimination Plan

Tomasz P. Stryjewski, Daniel Bitrán Benadretti, Sihai Dave Zhao, Susannah Rowe, Carole D. Mitnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To evaluate the clinical outcomes of a publicly funded cataract elimination program. Methods. Outcomes of all patients (186) who received extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) surgery free of charge at the Instituto Regional de Oftalmología in northern Peru in the first year (August 2008 to July 2009) of the Peruvian National Cataract Elimination Plan were compared retrospectively with the outcomes of all patients (68) who paid in the highest charge tier for ECCE surgery during the same period. Preoperatively, the median uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) of National Plan patients was Hand Motion; the UCVA of paying patients was Counting Fingers (P = 0.09). Complication frequency and visual acuity (uncorrected visual acuity, pinhole visual acuity, and best correct visual acuity) were the primary outcome measures. The World Health Organization (WHO) Vision 2020 goal is for 85% of operated eyes to achieve 20/60 vision; the Ministerio de Salud del Perú goal is for 75% of eyes to achieve 20/50. Results. One month postoperatively, only 24% of National Plan patients achieved a UCVA of 20/60. The median UCVA for both groups was 20/100 (P = 0.23). Intraoperative complications occurred in 27% of all patients; postoperative complications occurred in 39%. Patients more likely to have a poor outcome (UCVA < 20/200) were those who experienced a postoperative complication (odds ratio [OR] 3.3, P = 0.002), who experienced an intraoperative complication (OR 2.5, P = 0.01), and who were 75 years or older (OR 2.7, P = 0.008). National Plan patients were more likely to have an OCTET Grade II intraoperative complication (OR 4.2, P = 0.03) and were less likely to receive refractive services (OR 1.5, P = 0.002). Conclusions. Neither WHO nor Peruvian benchmarks for surgical outcome were achieved in the first year of the Peruvian National Cataract Elimination Plan. Providing more comprehensive services to patients and addressing variables correlated with poor outcomes may improve interventions and help achieve Vision 2020 goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Blindness
  • Cataract
  • Cataract extraction
  • Eye health services
  • Peru
  • Visual acuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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