Results: Cataract surgical coverage for visual acuity cut-offs of <6/18, <6/60 and <3/60 was 9.74%, 20.11% and 22.3%, respectively, for people and 4.18%, 9.39% and 13.47%, respectively, for eyes. Cataract surgical coverage was higher for men than women, but gender was not associated with refusal of services. Of the 239 who responded to the extra questionnaire, 216 were blind or had low vision owing to cataract. Three quarters refused referral for surgery: cost and fear of surgery were the most frequently reported barriers.
Conclusion: Cost plays a large role in the burden of cataract in this region. Implementation of educational programmes, reforms to local health service and subsidization of ophthalmic care may improve the uptake of cataract surgery.