Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology

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Refractive Errors in Primary School Children in Nigeria

M.A. Faderin, A.I. Ajaiyeoba


The study was carried out to determine the prevalence of refractive errors in primary school children in the Nigerian Army children school. Bonny Camp, Lagos, Nigeria. A total of 919 pupils from two primary schools (one private school and one public school) were screened. The schools and classes were selected using stratified random sampling methods. Refractive error was defined for this study as visual acuity of less than 6/9, or any visual acuity correctable with minimum of plus or minus 1.0 dioptre sphere, with or without minimum of plus or minus 0.5 dioptre cylinder to normal (6/5) vision. The prevalence of refractive error was 7.3% (95% CI = 5.5% - 9.1%). Hypermetropia predominated with 52.2 % of all errors and was common betwwen 6 and 15 years of age. Myopia was found in only 9% of children and was common in children less than 8 years of age. However, astigmatism was seen in 38.8% of children who above 13 years of age. More girls (56%) presented with refractive errors than boys (44%). It is advisable that pupils be tested whilst at primary school so that they can maximally utilize their visual endowment during learning processes at this rather formative stage of life.

Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology Vol. 9, No.1 (August 2001): pp 10-14

KEY WORDS: Refractive errors, primary school children.
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