Prevalence of Refractive Error Among School Children in the Cape Coast Municipality, Ghana
Uncorrected refractive errors continue to remain a public health problem among different population groups.
Among school children, it has a considerable impact on learning and academic achievement especially in under-served and under-resourced communities. There is a dearth of information about the magnitude of the problem in Ghana.
A school based cross-sectional study was carried out to estimate the prevalence and distribution of refractive error among school children ages 5-19 years old in the Cape Coast Municipality of Central Region of Ghana. A total of 1103 school children were enumerated out of which 961 underwent a full eye examination.
Of the children examined, only 0.6% had previously had an eye examination. Low prevalence rates of low vision and blindness were found while 25.6% of the children examined had refractive errors.
The study concludes that uncorrected refractive error is a common cause of visual impairment among school children in the municipality. A low uptake of eye care is also noted. The study makes recommendations for appropriate measures to ensure compulsory eye examination for school children in the Cape Coast Municipality.