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Prevalence of Visual Impairment and Refractive Error in School-Aged Children in South Darfur State of Sudan


Saif H. Alrasheed, Kovin S. Naidoo, Peter C. Clarke-Farr


African Vision Research Institute (AVRI) and the Brien Holden Vision Institute




African Vision and Eye Health Journal


  • The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of visual impairment (VI) and RE among Sudanese school-aged children.

  • A total of 1678 primary schoolchildren from grades 1 to 8 (children aged 6–15 years) from 21 districts in South Darfur State of Sudan were examined.

  • The findings indicated that the prevalence of uncorrected, presenting and best-corrected VA of 6/12 or worse was 6.4%, 4.4% and 1.2% respectively. RE was the cause of VI in 57% of participants. External and anterior-segment abnormalities were observed in 10.2% of children.

  • The prevalence of myopia in one or both eyes was 6.8%, hypermetropia was noted in 1.9% and astigmatism prevailed in 2.5%.

  • Prevalence of VI among school aged children were associated with the children’s age and grade levels but was not correlated with gender.

  • Prevalence of RE among school-aged children was significantly correlated with age and grade levels but not between gender and prevalence of RE.

  • The prevalence of VI because of myopia was associated with increasing grade levels and also the childhood age, but not because of gender.

  • The study concluded that URE was a major cause of VI among children in the South Darfur State. There is thus a critical need for developing a comprehensive child eye care plan focusing on the reduction of uncorrected RE through collaboration between key stakeholders and government.