Vernal keratoconjunctivitis among primary school students in Butajira Town
Background: In Ethiopia, there is no epidemiological data on the magnitude of vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) in the community.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to identify the magnitude, types, related family allergy and complications of VKC among school children of Butajira town.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between January 1st and February 28th 2008 to clinically evaluate students of Butajira primary school for the presence of VKC. Stratified random sampling of all grades was used to identify the study population. An operational definition was set to classify the types of VKC and hand held slit lamp microscope was used to examine all study subjects.
Results: A total of 792 students, 348 (43.9%) males and 444 (56.1%) females, were screened. VKC was diagnosed in 41 (5.2%) of the cases. Out of the cases, 26 (63.4%) were males and 15 (36.6%) were females, making a male to female ratio of 1.7:1. The majority of VKC patients, 23 (56.2%) were between 11 and 15 years of age. Limbal, mixed and palpebral types of VKC were seen in 24 (58.5%), 12 (29.3%) and 5 (12.2%) cases, respectively. Related family allergy was obtained in 5 (12.2%) cases. Keratoconus and corneal ulceration were not found
Conclusion: The finding of 5.2% VKC cases indicates that the disease is one of the common causes of ocular morbidity among the study population. As VKC is a chronic, recurrent condition, school health education about its supportive and symptomatic management need to be given to teachers and students.