Barriers to Wearing Glasses Among Primary School Children in Lagos, Nigeria
The study was carried out to investigate barriers to uptake of wearing glasses amongst primary school children. A total of 919 pupils from two primary schools (one private school and one public school) were screened. The schools were selected using a stratified random sampling technique. All pupils whose visual acuity was equal to or less than 6/9 were refracted by the optometrist. These pupils were given referral letters inviting their parents to attend the eye clinic with them. The researcher using structured and open-ended questionnaires interviewed the pupils, parents and teachers. Focus group discussions were held with the pupils and teachers. Pupils were more aware of issues surrounding wearing of glasses than their parents. The main constraint preventing children from wearing glasses was the poor economic status of the parents. If glasses were made available to school children at a highly subsidized rate, or better still free, most of the excuses parents gave for not providing glasses for their children or allowing them to wear glasses would not be tenable. For those that genuinely had deep-rooted beliefs against wearing glasses, health education by teaching the benefits of wearing glasses could be of great help. We appeal to private eye care service deliverers to accommodate school children and to offer services to them at affordable costs including provision of glasses. It is recommended that funding for this exercise should be from non-governmental organisations, philanthropists, pharmaceutical companies and well-meaning individuals.
Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology Vol. 9, No.1 (August 2001): pp 15-19
KEY WORDS: Barriers, wearing glasses, primary school children