Visual impairment among eye health workers in a tertiary eye centre in Ghana
Objective: To determine causes of visual impairment (VI) among staff of the Eye Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Design: This was a cross-sectional study.
Setting: The Eye Centre, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), from October 2016 to March 2017 on all consenting members of staff.
Participants: Eighty-four (79.3%) of 106 consenting staff members participated in this study.
Data collection/Intervention: A detailed history (demographic, ocular, medical co-morbid conditions), ocular examination and relevant diagnostic investigations were conducted. Interventions initiated included treatment for glaucoma, dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis and spectacles prescription for refractive errors.
Main outcomes: Prevalence of avoidable causes of VI (glaucoma, cataract, refractive errors). Secondary outcomes included prevalence of unavoidable causes of VI.
Results Eighty-four (79.3%) members of staff participated in this study. Most of the participants were females, 54(64.3 %). Age ranged from 23 to 60 years with an average of 35.8±9.9 years (mean ± SD). Prevalence of VI was 9.5 % (8/84), all due to uncorrected refractive error. Other known causes of VI included open angle glaucoma in 12(14.3 %), macular scar of unknown cause, 1(1.2 %) and sutural cataract, 1(1.2 %) but were all visually insignificant.
Conclusions: The prevalence of VI among the staff of the Eye Centre of the KBTH was 9.5 %, all due to refractive errors. Other known causes of avoidable visual impairment and blindness encountered were glaucoma (14.3 %), macular scar (1.2 %) and cataract (1.2 %), all asymptomatic. Routine eye screening should be part of periodic medical examination for employees.
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