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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Refractive Error and Visual Impairment in Primary School Children in Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria

AUTHOR:

Ngozika E. Ezinne, Khathutshelo P. Mashige

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2018

PUBLICATION:

African Vision and Eye Health Journal

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The purpose of the study is to determine the prevalence of refractive error and visual impairment in primary school children in Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.

  • The study was conducted in a primary school with 1020 children in 102 clusters. Children ages were between 5 and 15 years from grades 1 to 6.

  • The prevalence of uncorrected, presenting and best corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or worse in the better eye was 9.7%, 7.7% and 1.3%, respectively.

  • Refractive error accounted for 86.6% of all causes of visual impairment. Myopia was the most prevalent refractive error (46.4%), followed by astigmatism (36.1%) and hyperopia (17.5%).

  • Refractive error and visual impairment were significantly more prevalent in females than in males (p= 0.04). Refractive error was highest among children aged between 11 and 13 years, while visual impairment was greatest among children aged between 5 and 7 years.

  • The prevalence of refractive error and visual impairment among primary school children in Onitsha was relatively high, highlighting the need for services and strategies to address these conditions in that area.