Ocular morbidity in schoolchildren in Kathmandu

Type Journal Article - British journal of ophthalmology
Title Ocular morbidity in schoolchildren in Kathmandu
Volume 87
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
Page numbers 531-534
URL http://europepmc.org/articles/pmc1771680
Background/aims: Any information on eye diseases in schoolchildren in Nepal is rare and sketchy. A programme to provide basic eye screening to schoolchildren with an aim to provide services as well as gather information on ocular morbidity has been started.

Methods: All the children in the schools visited are included in the study. This programme is targeted at poor government schools, which are unable to afford this service. A complete eye examination is given to all the children including slit lamp examination, fundus evaluation and retinoscopy, and subjective refraction.

Results: A total of 1100 children from three schools are included in this report. 11% of our schoolchildren have ocular morbidity, 97% (117 out of 121) of which is preventable or treatable. Refractive error is the commonest type of ocular morbidity (8.1%). Myopia is the commonest type of refractive error (4.3%) as opposed to hypermetropia (1.3%). 12.4% of children with refractive error have already developed amblyopia. Strabismus is the second commonest type of ocular disability (1.6%). Alternate divergent squint is the commonest type of strabismus (1.4%). Traumatic eye injuries (0.54%), xerophthalmia (0.36%), and congenital abnormalities (0.36%) are much less common.

Conclusion: A school eye screening cum intervention programme with periodic evaluation seems to be appropriate for countries like Nepal as most of the eye diseases found are preventable or treatable.

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