Year : 2022  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 85-91

Prevalence of Visual Impairment Among Primary School Pupils in the Ga West Municipality, Ghana

1 Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Care Centre, Banjul, Gambia
2 Department of Surgery (Eye), University of Ghana Medical School, Korle Bu, Accra; Lions International Eye Centre, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Korle Bu, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Imoro Zeba Braimah
Department of Surgery (Eye), University of Ghana Medical School and Lions International Eye Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Korle-Bu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njo.njo_47_21

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Abstract Objective: To determine the prevalence and pattern of visual impairment (VI) among primary school pupils in the Ga West Municipality of Ghana. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey among primary school pupils at the Ga West Municipality. A cluster sampling technique was used to select 765 pupils from 12 primary schools (six public and six private schools). All pupils had presenting visual acuity (VA) testing and pupils with VI (presenting VA <6/18 in the better eye) had detailed ocular examination to determine the cause of VI. Binary logistic regression was used to determine the association between independent variables and prevalence of VI. Results: Four hundred and forty-eight (58.6%) of the pupils were males and their mean age was 10 ± 2.4 years. The prevalence of VI was 4.3%. Refractive error, 17 (51.5%), was the most common cause of moderate VI. Other morbidities associated with moderate VI were ocular surface abnormalities secondary to vernal keratoconjunctivitis, five (15.2%), amblyopia, four (12.1%), cataract, two (6.1%), and albinism, two (6.1%). The causes of severe VI were corneal opacity, chorioretinal scars, and glaucoma, each accounting for 3.0% of VI. Increasing age of pupils (P = 0.04) and private school attendance (P = 0.01) were found to be significantly associated with a higher prevalence of VI. Conclusion: Refractive error was the most common cause of VI in the primary school pupils. Annual eye examination and provision of affordable spectacles to school pupils with refractive error is recommended to reduce the impact of VI on their educational achievement.

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