Tribal Odisha Eye Disease Study (TOES) # 7. Prevalence of refractive error in children in tribal Odisha (India) school screening

This study, part of the Tribal Odisha Eye Disease Study, aimed to determine the prevalence of refractive error in schoolchildren in the resource-scarce tribal district of Rayagada, Odisha, India. The research employed a cross-sectional approach involving a comprehensive eye health study. Trained schoolteachers initially screened students with vision issues and other eye abnormalities, referring them for further examination by vision technicians. The examination included external eye checks, photorefraction using the Spot screener, and subjective correction. Students not improving with subjective correction were referred to ophthalmologists for further assessment. Out of 153,107 screened children, 5,990 were examined by vision technicians. Approximately 9.7% of these examined students had refractive errors, with myopia (4.9%) and astigmatism (5.4%) being more common than hyperopia (0.2%). The prevalence of myopia increased with age, and boys were slightly more affected. Hyperopic children had worse presenting visual acuity. This study underscores the need for increased skilled manpower to address eye health issues in this region. Despite limitations such as incomplete examinations, this district-wide study provides valuable insights into the eye health of schoolchildren in a predominantly tribal area, suggesting the importance of early intervention for improved academic performance and reduced school dropouts.

Publication date

July 24, 2020


Indian Journal of Ophthalmology


Lapam Panda, Suryasmita Nayak, Rohit C Khanna, Taraprasad Das
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