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Glaucoma awareness among ophthalmic patients at Menelik II Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

H Degineh
AT Giorgis


Background: Glaucoma is one of the main causes of blindness worldwide that has been considered as a major public health issue. Raising awareness about glaucoma among the general public, ophthalmic patients and health professionals would be key instrument for early case identification and prevention of blindness.
Objective: To determine the level of awareness and knowledge about glaucoma among patients coming for eye care service at Menelik II Hospital.
Methods: A hospital based cross- sectional study was conducted among a total of 422 new ophthalmic patients attending eye department at Menelik II Hospital during April 20 to August 20, 2010. Data on demographics, awareness and knowledge of glaucoma were collected through face to face interview using a pretested structured questionnaire.
Results: Among the interviewed 28.4% were found to be aware of glaucoma and 75.8% of them had some knowledge of glaucoma as well. The association between awareness of glaucoma and better educational level was statistically significant (P < 0.05). The main sources of information for glaucoma were television, posters, radio and relatives and other people living with glaucoma.
Conclusion: The study has indicated the level of glaucoma awareness and knowledge among ophthalmic patients at tertiary center. It has also identified higher level of education to be associated with better level of awareness and mass media to be the main source of information about glaucoma.
Recommendation: The present level of glaucoma awareness and knowledge should be enhanced through provision of health education and by incorporating glaucoma education into the curriculum of high school and health care providers.

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eISSN: 1021-6790