Prevalence of Ocular Morbidities among School Children in a Rural Area of South India

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Authors : Meundi AD, Athavale AV, Suruliraman SM, Anjan S, Gururaj MS, Dhabadi BB, Rekha R


Schools are ideal setting to implement screening services for eye healthcare program. We conducted a study in schools around the Primary Health Centre Sampaje which is under the KVG Medical College, Sullia with objectives of appraising various ocular symptoms in the children and studying the prevalence of refractive errors, squint, vitamin A deficiency, conjunctivitis and color blindness among the children.

This was a cross sectional study conducted between July and October 2009 using a predesigned structured questionnaire and ocular examination on a total number of 1938 students attending 30 schools in the Sampaje Primary Health Centre (PHC) area. Prevalence of total ocular morbidity was 20.12% of which Refractive errors constituted 17.1%. (Myopia 16.9% and Hyperopia 0.20%), Squint 2.1%, Vitamin A deficiency 0.6%, Conjunctivitis and Color blindness 0.5%. An alarming prevalence of ocular morbidity of about 20% was demonstrated in the present study.

Also, since majority of children (76%) with ocular morbidity in the present study were asymptomatic, the need for active screening of all school going children for the various ocular morbidities is imperative. 


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