Screening for Refractive Error Among Primary School Children in Bayelsa State, Nigeria

  • This study aims to screen for refractive error among primary school children in Bayelsa State and use the data to plan for school Eye Health Program.

  • A cross sectional study on screening for refractive error in school children was carried out in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in June 2009.

  • A multistage sampling technique was used to select the study population (pupils aged between 5-15 years).

  • Visual acuity (VA) for each eye, was assessed outside the classroom at a distance of 6 meters.

  • Those with VA ≤6/9 were presented with a pinhole and the test repeated.

  • A total of 1,242 school children consisting of 658 females and 584 males were examined.About 97.7% of pupils had normal VA (VA of 6/6) while 56 eyes had VAs ≤ 6/9.

  • Of these 56 eyes, the visual acuity in 49 eyes (87.5%) improved with pinhole.

  • Twenty seven pupils had refractive error, giving a prevalence of 2.2%.

  • Refractive error involved both eyes in 22 pupils (81.5%) and the 8-10 years age range had the highest proportion (40.7%) of cases of refractive error followed by the 9-13 year-old age range (37%).

  • The study concluded that the prevalence of refractive error was 2.2% and most eyes (97.7%) had normal vision.

Publication date

July 12, 2019


The Pan African Medical Journal


Ibeinmo Opubiri and Chinyere Pedro-Egbe
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