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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Prevalence of Eye Diseases in Primary School Children in A Rural Area of Tanzania

AUTHOR:

Wedner, S.H., Ross, D.A., Balira, R., Kaji, L. and Foster, A.

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2000

PUBLICATION:

British Journal of Ophthalmology

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of eye diseases in primary school children aged 7 to 19.

  • This study was based on the survey conducted by teachers who examined 1438 pupils using a Snellen’s E chart.

  • Out of 1438 pupils, 10 (0.7%) had bilateral poor eyesight (visual acuity worse than 6/12).

  • An additional 14 pupils (1.0%) suffered from unilateral poor eyesight.

  • Overall, 76 pupils (5.5%) had active trachoma, though the prevalence was 15.5% in the poorest school.

  • Out of 1438 pupils, 73 (5.3%) reported night blindness, 8 (0.6%) had Bitot’s spots, and 11 (0.8%) had corneal scars.

  • Simple screening by teachers correctly identified 80% of the pupils who were found to have bilateral poor eyesight by the eye team, with 91% specificity.