African Health Sciences

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Burden, etiology and predictors of visual impairment among children attending Mulago National Referral Hospital eye clinic, Uganda

Patience Kinengyere, Samuel Kizito, John Baptist Kiggundu, Anne Ampaire, Geoffrey Wabulembo


Background: Childhood visual impairment (CVI) has not been given due attention. Knowledge of CVI is important in planning preventive measures. The aim of this study was determine the prevalence, etiology and the factors associated with childhood visual impairment among the children attending the eye clinic in Mulago National Referral Hospital.

Methods: This was a cross sectional hospital based study among 318 children attending the Mulago Hospital eye clinic between January 2015 to March 2015. Ocular and general history was taken and patient examination done. The data generated was entered by Epidata and analyzed by STATA 12.

Results: The prevalence of CVI was 42.14%, 134 patients with 49 patients (15.41%) having moderate visual impairment, 45 patients (14.15%) having severe visual impairment and 40 patients (12.58%) presenting with blindness. Significant predictors included; increasing age, delayed developmental milestones and having abnormal corneal, refractive and fundus findings.

Conclusion: There is a high burden of visual impairment among children in Uganda. It is vital to screen all the children presenting to hospital for visual impairment. Majority of the causes of the visual impairment are preventable.

Keywords: Visual impairment, Mulago National Referral Hospital, Eye clinic, Uganda
AJOL African Journals Online