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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Prevalence of Significant Refractive Errors in Primary School Children of a Rural District of Kenya

AUTHOR:

Muma, M.K., Kimani, K. and Kariuki, W.M.

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2007

PUBLICATION:

East African Journal of Ophthalmology

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude and pattern of significant refractive errors (visual acuity less than 6/18) among primary school children.

  • This was a cross sectional school based study conducted with 1439 primary school pupils aged 12 to 15 years.

  • The study found that 5.2% (75) pupils had refractive errors and the rest 94.4% (1358) had normal vision.

  • The prevalence of refractive errors was 5.2%.

  • Hypermetropia was the most prevalent refractive error at 62.7% (47) followed by myopia 32.0% (24) and astigmatism at 5.30%.

  • Of the 75 pupils with refractive errors and in need of spectacles, 66 (88%) had no spectacles.

  • Nine pupils (12%) said they had been prescribed spectacles previously but only one (13%) was noted to be wearing spectacles at the time of examination.

  • The overall prevalence of significant refractive errors in pupils in Makueni’s Kilungu division was 5.2% suggesting the need for regular school screening programme.