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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

The Prevalence of Visual Impairment and Refractive Errors among a Youth Population in Mozambique: Evidence of the Need for Intervention

AUTHOR:

Sengo, D.B.; Dos Santos, I.I.D.B.; Faquihe, M.F.; Tomo, H.B.J.F.; Muaprato, A.M.; Puchar, S.; Lôbo, G.M.R.J.; López-Izquierdo, I.; Caballero, P.

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2021

PUBLICATION:

MDPI Children

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Visual impairment (VI) can significantly interfere in the child’s daily activities and quality of life, having a negative effect on their development and learning. 

  • The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of VI and associated demographic factors in students examined during the program “Moçambique te vejo melhor”. 

  • This study was cross-sectional and retrospective, based on the 2018/19 edition of the program. Eye examinations were performed in secondary school students, aged between 12 and 20 years, of five districts in Nampula province. 

  • The examination included visual acuity, non-cycloplegic refraction and assessment of the anterior and posterior segment and ocular adnexa. 

  • The prevalence of uncorrected, presenting and best-corrected VI found was 18.3%, 10.8%, and 5.0%, respectively. Refractive error (RE) had a prevalence of 24.7%, and the age groups between 15–17 years and 18–20 years were significantly associated with myopia (with OR: 4.9 and OR: 8.8, respectively), as well as the 11th and 12th grade (OR: 8.1 and OR: 10.7, respectively), and Malema district had association with myopia (ORa: 0.4) and hyperopia (ORa: 0.4 and OR: 0.3) as a protective factor. 

  • The prevalence of RE and VI was relatively high, showing the need for greater intervention at the school level.