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Refractive errors and school performance in Brazzaville, Congo

P.W. Atipo-Tsiba
G.E. Bowassa
I.A. Diomandé
E Nika


Background: Wearing glasses before ten years is becoming more common in developed countries. In black Africa, for cultural or irrational reasons, this attitude remains exceptional. This situation is a source of amblyopia and learning difficulties.

Objective: To determine the role of refractive errors in school performance in Brazzaville.

Design: Case-Witness study.

Subjects: The cases’ group was formed by pupils with a record of school delay and actual pupils.

Results: Fifty two records were selected 26 cases vs 26 witnesses (52 Cases ‘eyes VS 52 witnesses’ eyes), the mean age was 14 ± 2.40 years VS 11.50 ± 1.80 years (p <0.001). The prevalence of visual loss was 50.00% vs 1.92% (OR = 833, 95%CI 207 - 455, p <0.001). Hyperopia (62.74%) was the main diagnosed ametropia.

Conclusion: Refractive errors largely determines pupil performance in schools in Brazzaville, Congo. The routine use of glasses if necessary can reverse this trend.

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eISSN: 0012-835X