Comm Eye Health Vol. 17 No. 49 2004 pp 13. Published online 01 March 2004.

Cuba is advancing positively towards the goals of VISION 2020

Lisa Macdonald

Project Adviser, CBM South America/h4>

Elina Ceballos

Coordinator, National PBL Program Cuba

Raul Hernandez

Hospital Pando Ferrer, Havana, Cuba

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The National Eye Health Programme of Cuba (population 11.2 million with 620 ophthalmologists) is advancing positively toward the goals of VISION 2020. The number of cataract surgeries increased from 10,800 in 2000 to almost 15,000 in 2003, with the percentage receiving an IOL increasing from 63% to 93 % (Table 1). This improvement was particularly impressive in provinces outside Havana. A Rapid Assessment of Cataract Surgical Services planned for April 2004 will help direct programme activities towards the more underserved provinces and establish a national baseline for future programme evaluation. The programme is a joint effort between the MoH and the Church Council of Cuba, supported by CBM and the German Ministry of Economic Collaboration.

In addition, a national programme to prevent blindness from retinopathy of prematurity has been established. The aim is to provide screening and treatment in all neonatal units in Cuba by the end of 2006.

A pilot low vision programme was initiated in 2003 in four of the twelve provinces with a view to expansion over the next few years. This programme is co-ordinated with the Ministries of Education and Health.

Table 1. Number of cataract surgeries in Cuba
(estimated 95% of all cataract surgeries perfomed in Cuba)

Year #surgeries % IOL CSR
2000 10,827 63 964
2001 11,267 69 1,003
2002 13,461 83 1,199
2003 14,710 93 1,310
V2020 Goal 40,000 >98 3,000
Figure 1. Cuba CSR 2000-2003
Figure 1. Cuba CSR 2000-2003