Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development

"Better Health Systems...Healthier Lives."

National Eye Survey of Trinidad and Tobago (NESTT)

Vision function is classified into 4 broad categories: normal vision; moderate vision impairment; severe vision impairment; and blindness. In 2013-2014 UWI conducted a was a population-based, cross-sectional national eye survey to:

  1.  Estimate the population-based prevalence of vision impairment and blindness in persons aged 5 years and above.
  2. Identify the causes of vision impairment in the population
  3. Measure the impact of vision impairment on health and quality of life.
  4. Assess the effectiveness of the eye care system.

The study made important finding about the prevalence of eye diseases and the status of the eye-care system in Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Glaucoma and untreated cataract are the two leading causes of blindness in the population aged five years and above.¬† These are followed by diabetic retinopathy.
  • Uncorrected refractive error is the leading cause of moderate and severe vision impairment in the population aged five years and above, accounting for almost 50% of cases.
  • Cataract is the second leading cause of moderate and severe vision impairment accounting for 27% of cases.
  • Congenital anomalies are the leading cause of blindness in children (44% of cases enrolled at the School for the Blind).

With respect to the eye-care system, the study found that policy action is needed to improve the eye-care system arrangements; and strengthen governance of the national eye care system. 

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