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Epidemiologic study for glaucoma' in central Africa

Krüger H., Schittkowski M., 2Kundt G., Guthoff R.

Department of Ophthalmology at Rostock-University; 2Institute for Medical Informatics and Biometrics at Rostock University

There are 45 million people suffered from blindness all over the world. Each year 7 million people go blind. 90 % of all blind people live in developing countries. The WHO estimates that without intervention the number of blind people increases to 80 million until the year 2020. To stop this development the WHO in cooperation with the CBM and other organisations founded the "VISION-2020-Projekt" in 1999. The treatment of Cataract and Trachoma, which are the most common causes of avoideable blindness in developing countries, is the main topic of this campaign. The Glaucoma, which is also considered to be one of the most common reasons for blindness couldn´t be involved in the project yet, because of the lack of epidemiologic datas. We present the concept of an epidemiologic study which will start in october 2001 in Kinshasa (Kongo). During that study 2000 patients without ophthalmologic diseases will be examined to define reference-datas concerning the intraocular-pressure and the appearance of the optic disc. It is thought to develop a screeningprogram depending on these datas, which is able to be used in a city like Kinshasa. This program should help to detect and treat high-risk-patients. The expected epidemiologic datas could be used by the WHO to make the glaucoma being a part of the "VISION-2020-Project" and to start an efficient treatment of this disease in developing countries.

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