Refractive Error and Visual Impairment in African Children in South Africa
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of refractive error and visual impairment in school-aged African children in South Africa.
A sample of children aged 5 to 15 years selected to participate in the study based on random selection of geographically defined in Durban.
A total of 5599 children living in 2712 households were selected and 4890 (87.3%) were examined.
The prevalence of uncorrected, presenting, and best-corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or worse in the better eye was 1.4%, 1.2%, and 0.32%, respectively.
Refractive error was the cause in 63.6% of the 191 eyes with reduced vision, amblyopia in 7.3%, retinal disorders in 9.9%, corneal opacity in 3.7%.
Exterior and anterior segment abnormalities were recognised in 528 (10.8%) children.
Myopia (at least −0.50 D) in one or both eyes was present in 2.9% of children when measured with retinoscopy and in 4.0% measured with autorefraction.
The prevalence of reduced vision is low in school-age African children, most of it because of uncorrected refractive error.
This article was identified as a reference for a VII-commissioned systematic review on the Impact of URE on Children.