Prevalence and Predictors of Refractive Error and Spectacle Coverage in Nakuru, Kenya: A Cross-Sectional, Population-Based Study

  • A cross-sectional study was undertaken in Nakuru, Kenya to assess the prevalence of refractive error and the spectacle coverage in a population aged ≥50 years.

  • Of the 5,010 subjects who were eligible, 4,414 underwent examination (response rate 88.1 %).

  • LogMAR visual acuity was assessed in all participants and refractive error was measured in both eyes using a Topcon auto refractor RM8800. Detailed interviews were undertaken and ownership of spectacles was assessed.

  • Refractive error was responsible for 51.7 % of overall visual impairment (VI), 85.3 % mild VI, 42.7 % moderate VI, 16.7 % with severe VI and no cases of blindness.

  • Myopia was more common than hyperopia affecting 59.5 % of those with refractive error compared to 27.4 % for hyperopia. High myopia was also more common than extreme hyperopia.

  • Of those who needed distance spectacles (spectacle coverage), 25.5 % owned spectacles.

  • In conclusion, the oldest, most poor and least educated are most likely to have no spectacles and they should be specifically targeted when refractive services are put in place.

Publication date

February 22, 2019


International Ophthalmology

Sponsor Institution

British Council for the Prevention of Blindness (BCPB) and the Fred Hollows Foundation


Andrew Bastawrous, Wanjiku Mathenge, Allen Foster, Hannah Kuper
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