The problem of visual impairment among school children is so prevalent that it greatly reduces children's ability to study and attend classes finally leading to a grave socio economic burden to the society. The study determined the prevalence of refractive error among school children of Meseret General Primary School, Gondar, Ethiopia. A cross sectional study of 313 children aged 7-16 years was done. It was found that none of the children has done eye examination before and wore glasses previously. The data was collected by taking V.A., Pinhole V.A. and refraction. 11.5% of the children had refractive errors. 52.78% had myopia, 25% had hyperopia and 22% had astigmatism. Of the 36 pupils with refractive errors 44.44% were males and 55.56% were females. The age distribution showed myopia to be most prevalent in the age group of 14-16years (15.5%), hyperopia highest in 7-10 years (4%) and astigmatism in 11-13 years (4%). It is concluded that refractive error among school children aged between 7 to 16years is significant and needs a special attention in order to prevent the consequences of severe visual impairment.
Keywords: Refractive error, hyperopia, Myopia, Astigmatism
JOURNAL OF HEALTH AND VISUAL SCIENCES (2013) VOL. 15 (1): 23 - 29