Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB)
RAAB is a well-established population-based eye health survey. It assesses the prevalence and causes of vision impairment and blindness among people aged 50 years and older, as well as reporting priority eye care service indicators. It provides locally-relevant data and is used by both governments and non-governmental eye health service providers at national and sub-national levels.
Supporting evidence-based eye care planning, service monitoring and evaluation, RAAB is an important tool in achieving the global eye health priorities set out by the World Health Organization’s World Report on Vision, and the recommendations of the recent Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health.
RAAB surveys provide the majority of data used to estimate the global and regional prevalence and causes of vision impairment, as well as data which is vital for tracking progress towards universal health coverage.
RAAB evolved from district-level rapid surveys of blindness conducted in India in the mid-1990s by Dr Hans Limburg and collaborators. Subsequent iterations of the methodology have been given different names. The Rapid Assessment of Cataract Surgical Services (RACSS) was introduced in 2000 and since then, changes in RAAB survey protocol have been reflected by version number, from RAAB4.02 (2005), RAAB4.03 (2008), RAAB5 (2013), RAAB6 (2013), to the most recent iteration, RAAB7 (piloted since 2018 and widely launched in 2021). Hans Limburg led development of RAAB with support from the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) until 2018, before handing over the development of RAAB7 to ICEH and Peek Vision.