BUSAN, Korea — Addressing cataract blindness is crucial despite worldwide challenges to cataract removal such as suboptimal working conditions, complex cataracts, and volume, equipment and instrumentation issues, a clinician said here.
Sanduk Ruit, MD, gave the Arthur Lim Award Lecture at APAO/SOE 2012.
“When we talk about the real blind cataract, it is very true to say that the advanced cataracts are the ones that are deprived. Socially, economically and also in terms of distance, they are very difficult to reach,” Dr. Ruit said.
“There is extreme inequity both in quantity and quality [of cataract surgery],” he said. “Intracapsular cataract extraction is slowly more obsolete, but still there a few places on earth where intracapsular is being done.”
The global magnitude of cataract blindness may be much higher than estimated, Dr. Ruit said.
He has experience removing cataracts in Nepal through manual small-incision cataract surgery, which he said is safe, cost-effective and has great outcomes, although it requires complex training.
Dr. Ruit said he now refers to cataract surgery as a “surgical delivery system” rather than a technique because it incorporates more than just surgery. The system must include safe and straightforward technology, rapid and sustainable visual recovery with low complications, high volume care and cost-effectiveness.
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