Prevention of Cataract Blindness in Rural China.

Yan X, Congdon N, He M.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


China has undergone dramatic economic and social reforms during last 30 years, leading to a notably higher level of living standards and health care access for Chinese citizens. However, China's cataract surgical rate of 780 cases/y per million population trails Asian neighbors with lower income levels such as India and Vietnam. Eye care providers and patients encounter many barriers in gaining access to one another.Hands-on training programs conducted by international nongovernmental organizations and the government have helped to increase the number of qualified cataract surgeons in rural area, but establishing a residency training system that produces ophthalmologists capable of performing independent surgery is the only sustainable way to meet the increasing demand for surgery from an aging population. The New Rural Cooperative Medical System has successfully reduced the financial burden of cataract surgery for the rural population; however, reimbursement for outpatient treatment of leading eye diseases is needed.Community outreach screening combined with education is essential in rural areas' increased demand for surgery. Methods to optimize the yield from such screening must still be devised and proven, however. Improvements in the hospital administration and management structure are also needed to improve the efficiency of China's rural hospitals in delivering high-quality, low-cost cataract surgical services.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila).
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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