Socio-economic background and prevalence of visual defects amongst students in public and private secondary schools in Calabar municipality, cross river state, Nigeria
The thrust of this study is to examine the socio-economic background and prevalence of visual defects among students in public and private secondary schools in Calabar municipality in Cross River State. The main objective of the study is to screen for and present information on the prevalence of visual defects amongst the students in public and private secondary school in Calabar Municipality with reference to socio-economic background of their parents. The design of the study was a cross sectional survey involving one time screening of secondary school students aged 10- 19 years. The multi stage sampling was used. A random sample of 938 students was drawn from a population of 9380 secondary school students enrolled in ten public and private secondary schools in Calabar Municipality. Four hypotheses were formulated and tested using the chi-square (X2) with a test of significant at 0.05 level. Finding showed that visual defects viz hyperopia, myopia and astigmatism suffered by students in public and private secondary schools in Calabar Municipality is not dependent on the socioeconomic background of their parents. Furthermore the study revealed that myopia has a prevalence of 41% followed by hyperopia with 31% and astigmatism with 28%. Also, students from families with university background has more prevalence from agricultural families. The females suffer more ametropia than their male counterparts. Those with visual defects were given appropriate lenses to alleviate their problems. More visual defects were found among private secondary school students than in public schools. To avoid visual defects, there are two possibilities, the visual performance level can be increased by proper optometric services and the individual can restrict his/her vision environment and thereby decrease environment demand.
KEYWORDS: Socio-economic, visual defects, Ametropia, secondary school students; Calabar Municipality.