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Business & Profession Cataract, Professional Development

Swallowing Professional Pride

Untreated cataract remains the most common cause of blindness in all low-income countries, as well as many middle-income countries. Why, when it is easily, cheaply and quickly treated with good results?

In the developing world, where there may be barely one ophthalmologist for 1 million people, the bulk of surgeries become cataract surgeries. But this is not enough to eradicate cataract blindness, and our likely failure to eradicate treatable blindness by 2020 shows that the situation is under-resourced. In my view, the obvious solution is to train non-doctors (such as nurses). Many people have suggested this approach, and some countries, mostly in Africa, have accepted it. There are many advantages of training non-doctor cataract surgeons:

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About the Author

John Sandford-Smith

John Sandford-Smith is an emeritus Consultant Ophthalmologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary. He is a widely-respected expert on eye diseases and has been extensively involved in teaching, training and voluntary work, both during his career and since his retirement in 2000. In 2007, he received an MBE for services to blind people in developing countries.

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