Prevalence of Refractive Errors Among Schoolchildren in Rural Central Ethiopia

  • The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of refractive errors and visual impairment among schoolchildren in rural central Ethiopia.

  • This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 5,470 schoolchildren aged 7 to 18 years from 14 schools.

  • Out of 4,238 children, 405 were visually impaired and of these 267 children had refractive errors.

  • The overall prevalence of refractive error was 6.3%, comprised of 6.1% in boys and 6.6% in girls.

  • The most prevalent refractive error was myopia accounting for 6.0%, followed by compound myopic astigmatism of 1.2%.

  • Myopic astigmatism accounted for 0.5%, mixed astigmatism for 0.26% and hyperopia for 0.33% respectively.

  • Uncorrected refractive error is a common cause of visual impairment among schoolchildren in rural central Ethiopia.

  • Frequent school-screening programs that provide glasses at low cost or free of charge for those who have refractive errors should be promoted in Ethiopia.

Publication date

March 5, 2018


Clinical and Experimental Optometry


Mehari, Z.A. and Yimer, A.W.
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