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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Magnitude and Pattern of Significant Refractive Errors in Primary School Children of Lilongwe, an Urban District in Malawi

AUTHOR:

Msiska, V., Njuguna, M. and Kariuki, M.

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2009

PUBLICATION:

East African Journal of Ophthalmology

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and pattern of significant refractive errors in urban primary school children aged 12 – 15 years in Lilongwe.

  • This was a cross-sectional study conducted with six non-boarding primary schools in three education zones in the urban Lilongwe district.

  • The prevalence of significant refractive errors was 2.3% (33/ 1,448).

  • The prevalence of myopia was 1.7%, hypermetropia 0.4% and astigmatism 0.3%.

  • Only 3 out of the 33 (9%) children with significant refractive errors were wearing full spectacle correction.

  • The prevalence of significant refractive errors in primary school children in Lilongwe as in other sub-Saharan African countries is too low to justify a regular school screening programme.