Screening for Eye Disease in Nigeria School Children

  • S. Abubakar Guinness Eye Centre, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, Nigeria.
  • A.I. Ajaiyeoba Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Keywords: screening, eye diseases, school children


The study aimed to establish the validity of simple screening test conducted by readily available non-ophthalmic personnel (such as teachers rather than ophthalmologists who may be regarded as the gold standard) to detect cases of common eye problems in school children. Trained school teachers conducted screening using a simple pen torch eye examination to recognise common eye conditions like red eyes, squint, corneal scar and Bitot's spots. A total of 1585 students from a government owned public primary school (mixed boys and girls) and a private secondary (boys only) school located in Kaduna metropolis were screened by the teachers. The trained schoolteachers were able to attain a sensitivity of 59.1% and specificity of 85.1% for the sample eye examination. After just one day training, the trained schoolteachers were able to achieve reasonably high levels of specificity and modest levels of sensitivity in carrying out simple eye examination. Trained teachers can reduce the workload of ophthalmic personnel by as much as a factor of twenty. They can also play a vital role in promoting ocular health of school children especially in developing countries where there is little or no provision for school health services in schools attended by those from a poor background.

Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology Vol. 9, No.1 (August 2001): pp6-9

KEY WORDS: screening, Eye diseases, school children


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2468-8363
print ISSN: 0189-9171