Eye diseases and blindness in Adjumani refugee settlement camps, Uganda

  • M Kawuma


Objectives: To determine the prevalence and causes of the blindness and ocular morbidity amongst Sudanese refugees; to prioritise and provide eye care services to the refugees and; to device administrative strategies and logistics of prevention and control of blinding diseases among the refugees.
Design: A mobile outreach clinic study for six weeks.
Setting: Adjumani settlement camps for Sudanese refugees in Uganda.
Participants: Seven hundred patients in eighteen settlement camps.
Interventions: Medical treatment and surgical correction offered.
Main outcome measures: Cataract, trachoma and xerophthalmia are the major causes of blindness.
Results: One hundred and forty six patients (21%) were bilaterally blind, and 77 patients (11%) were unilaterally blind. The three leading causes of blindness are cataract (42%), xerophthalmia (28%) and trachoma (21%). Glaucoma and other non-specified causes were responsible for the remaining blindness (9%). The crude
prevalence of blindness among the 700 patients was 20. This is an extremely high prevalence, nearly ten times higher than for Ugandans living in Uganda.
Conclusion: In refugee settlement camps setting, residents may have a much higher prevalence of eye diseases and blindness than non-refugees.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X