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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 111-114

Prevalence of ocular morbidities among basic school children in the Kwabre East District of Ghana


1 Department of Optometry and Visual Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2 Eye Department, Obuasi Government Hospital, Obuasi, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Kumah David Ben
Department of Optometry and Visual Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
Ghana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.154912

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Background: Many ocular conditions when detected at an early age such as basic school age through vision screening are amenable to interventional measures. Despite this, there are no eye screening programs for school children in Ghana. Objective: The study set out to determine the prevalence of ocular morbidity among basic school children in the Kwabre East District of Ghana. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was carried out in March 2014. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select school children aged 6-16 years from five randomly selected schools in the district. Ocular history and basic ocular examinations were carried out on the children that were sampled. Results: A total of 456 children were examined; they comprised 170 (27.3%) males and 286 (62.7%) females with a mean age of 12.6 ± 2.25. 215 (47.1%) of the school children had various ocular morbidities. Refractive error was found to be the most predominant ocular morbidity among 120 (26.3%) school children, followed by allergic conjunctivitis 79 (17.3%). A total of 445 (97.6%) of the participants had a visual acuity (VA) of 6/5-6/12, 8 (1.8%) had a VA of < 6/12-6/36 and 3 (0.7%) had a VA of 6/60 - NPL in their right eye. Only 12.8% of the school children had knowledge about refractive errors. Conclusion: Uncorrected refractive error and allergic conjunctivitis were the leading ocular morbidities found among school children in this sample. A routine ocular health assessment among basic school children is recommended to prevent any visual impairment.


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