Prevalence of Visual Impairment and Refractive Error in School-Aged Children in South Darfur State of Sudan
The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of visual impairment (VI) and RE among Sudanese school-aged children.
A total of 1678 primary schoolchildren from grades 1 to 8 (children aged 6–15 years) from 21 districts in South Darfur State of Sudan were examined.
The findings indicated that the prevalence of uncorrected, presenting and best-corrected VA of 6/12 or worse was 6.4%, 4.4% and 1.2% respectively. RE was the cause of VI in 57% of participants. External and anterior-segment abnormalities were observed in 10.2% of children.
The prevalence of myopia in one or both eyes was 6.8%, hypermetropia was noted in 1.9% and astigmatism prevailed in 2.5%.
Prevalence of VI among school aged children were associated with the children’s age and grade levels but was not correlated with gender.
Prevalence of RE among school-aged children was significantly correlated with age and grade levels but not between gender and prevalence of RE.
The prevalence of VI because of myopia was associated with increasing grade levels and also the childhood age, but not because of gender.
The study concluded that URE was a major cause of VI among children in the South Darfur State. There is thus a critical need for developing a comprehensive child eye care plan focusing on the reduction of uncorrected RE through collaboration between key stakeholders and government.