Survey of Childhood Blindness and Visual Impairment in Botswana
The purpose of this study was to determine the causes of childhood blindness and visual impairment (VI) in Botswana.
The study examined with 241 children, 79 with unilateral and 162 with bilateral VI.
Of unilateral cases, 89% were avoidable, 23% preventable (83% trauma-related) and 66% treatable (40% refractive error and 31% amblyopia).
Of bilateral cases, 63% were avoidable: 5% preventable and 58% treatable (33% refractive error and 31% congenital cataracts).
Refractive error, which is easily correctable with glasses, is the most common cause of bilateral VI, with cataracts a close second.
A nationwide intervention is currently being planned to reduce the burden of avoidable childhood VI in Botswana.