Prevalence and pattern of childhood blindness in a resource limited teaching hospital in Nigeria

Adegbehingbe BO, Taiwo OA

Abstract


Objective: To determine the prevalence and identify the causes of childhood blindness and visual impairment in a resource-limited tertiary hospital.
Design: Cross-sectional hospital-based study Setting: Eye clinic, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Osun, Nigeria
Subjects: 1,176 children attended between January 2001 and December. 2005
Results: The prevalence of severe visual impairment and blindness was 2.0% and 1.4% respectively. 345 (29.3%) children: 203 males, 142 females had vision below 6/18 in at least one eye, 117(9.9%) had severe visual impairment and blindness in at least one eye. The causes of both severe visual impairment and blindness were traumatic globe damage 25
(21.4%), childhood cataract 21 (17.9%), corneal opacity 16 (13.8%), cortical blindness 14 (12.0%), ocular infections 13 (11.1%), ocular tumor 11 (9.4%), and optic atrophy 4 (3.4%). Others were retinal lesions 5 (4.3%), congenital squint and glaucoma 3 (2.6%) each, and amblyopia 2 (1.7%).
Conclusions: A large proportion of children seen at the eye clinic were blind from preventable
or treatable causes.

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