Duration 5min, Q&A 3min
Magnitude of Visual Defects in School Children in a Developing Nation - Nurturing Today for a Better Tomorrow
To determine the prevalence of visual impairment in school going children [5-15 years] in 3 districts of South India.
School going children (5-15 years) from randomly selected schools in both urban and rural areas in three districts of southern India.
A prospective randomized study was performed through the school screening programme conducted by our hospital from October 2008 to October 2010.Selected school teachers were given awareness of paediatric eye problems and trained for vision screening and basic eye examination. Children with visual acuity less than 6/9 and those suspected to have other ocular problems were referred to the medical team and were examined by our team in outreach camps. Children already using glasses with BCVA 6/9 or better were excluded.
Results and Conclusion
2,86,158 children (29.42% of the 5-15 population) in the 3 districts were screened by the teachers. 20,522 children were referred to the medical team. Out of this 5822 (28.37%) had ocular problems, of which 2690 were treated at the camp sites, 3132 were referred to the base hospital. Among the ocular problems detected uncorrected refractive errors ranked the highest -71.7%, amblyopia 8.17%, strabismus 7.09%, vitamin A deficiency 3.84%, ptosis and lid disorders 2.47%, conjunctival and scleral disorders 1.98%, paediatric cataract 0.46% and other disorders 4.56%. 29.6% of the detected squint cases and 66.7% of the cataract cases were operated at the base hospital. Active case finding and timely intervention prevents long term visual disability in children. Population based design and random selection of schools are strengths of our study.Thus vision screening of children is of paramount importance in developing nations
[ Keyword ]
visual defects / school screening programme / outreach camps / refractive errors
[ Conflict of Interest ]