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A walk in the Park

This blog is dedicated to everyone who has struggled with Community Medicine. Through my posts I hope to simplify and demystify community medicine. The emphasis will be on clarifying concepts rather than providing ready-made answers to exam questions.

Feedback is crucial for the success of this endeavour, so you are encouraged to comment and criticize if you cannot understand something.

If you want a topic to be discussed sooner rather than later, please let me know via

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Community-Medicine-for-ASSES/429533760433198  

[Alternatively, you may join the group communitymedicine4asses: 

http://www.facebook.com/groups/456698611060927/%5D

Twitter: @DocRoopesh

In addition, you could take a short survey to help improve this blog:

http://drroopesh.polldaddy.com/s/reader-survey

A single example may not be able to explain 100% of a given topic, so multiple examples may be provided to explain different parts of a single concept.

If something doesn’t seem right:

a. Write to me about it (at communitymedicine4asses@yahoo.com), and

b. Cross check with another source (textbook, expert, etc.)

I hope that my exertions will make your experience with community medicine seem like a “Walk in the Park”

Note 1. Those who wish to contact me on facebook are requested to kindly send a personal message introducing themselves along with the request. This will help save time and effort of all concerned. Please do not expect me to visit your page to try and identify you/ your areas of work/ interest, etc. It is common courtesy to introduce oneself to another when interacting for the first time. I am merely requesting that the same civil courtesy be extended here, too. Henceforth, I may not accept any friend requests/ requests to join the group on facebook unless accompanied by a note of introduction (except when I already know the sender).  

Note 2. Please understand that this blog (and the corresponding facebook page/ group) is maintained in my spare time. I have a full time job, and am available to pursue these activities only after regular working hours (after 5 pm Indian Standard Time). However urgently you may wish to receive a response from me, I will be able to respond only upon returning home from work (I am offline the rest of the time).

Note 3. Please mind your language when interacting with me/ in the group linked to this blog. Rude/ offensive language will result in expulsion from both my friends list and the said group.

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WHO updates fact sheet on Blindness and Visual impairment (11 October 2018)

On occasion of World Sight Day (11th October), the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its fact sheet on blindness and visual impairment.

Background Information:

The International Classification of Diseases 11 (2018) classifies vision impairment into two groups, distance and near presenting vision impairment.

Distance vision impairment:

  • Mild – presenting visual acuity worse than 6/12
  • Moderate – presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18
  • Severe – presenting visual acuity worse than 6/60
  • Blindness – presenting visual acuity worse than 3/60

Near vision impairment:

  • Presenting near visual acuity worse than N6 or N8 at 40cm with existing correction.

Key Messages:

Globally, it is estimated that approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of vision impairment.

The majority of people with vision impairment are over the age of 50 years.

With regards to distance vision, 188.5 million people have mild vision impairment, 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment, and 36 million people are blind.

With regards to near vision, 826 million people live with a near vision impairment.

Globally, the top two causes of vision impairment are uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts. Other leading causes are:

  • age-related macular degeneration
  • glaucoma
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • corneal opacity
  • trachoma.

The proportion of vision impairment attributable to cataract is higher in low- and middle-income countries than high-income countries. In high income countries, diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are more common.

Among children, the causes of vision impairment varies considerably across countries. For example, in low-income countries congenital cataract is a leading cause, whereas in high income countries it is more likely to be retinopathy of prematurity.

Approximately 80% of all vision impairment globally is considered avoidable.

WHO vision opportunities and action

There are effective interventions available to prevent and treat eye diseases. For example, uncorrected refractive error can be corrected with glasses while cataract surgery can restore vision. Vision rehabilitation is also effective in improving functioning for people with an irreversible vision impairment.

Useful Links: 

Link to the updated fact sheet:

http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment

Link to Universal Eye Health: A global action plan 2014-2019 (multiple languages):

http://www.who.int/blindness/actionplan/en/

Link to International Classification of Diseases 11:

https://icd.who.int

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