Pattern of Eye Diseases in Kaduna State – A rural community outreach experience
AbstractSenile cataract and anterior segment eye infection were the two eye diseases most frequently seen in Giwa community. The lack of trachoma seems to indicate that the rural water supplies were relatively clean and safe. The majority of eye problems were age-related, and preventable.
Objective: The aim of the study was to establish the pattern of eye diseases presenting at the rural outreach eye clinic in Giwa, Kaduna State in northern Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 1,181 new patients were examined over a 27-month period in the Giwa rural outreach eye clinic. This was done after taking the patient's history and checking the visual acuity using a Snellen chart, a simple pen torch examination, and dilated funduscopy. Schiötz tonometry was done in suspected glaucoma cases.
Results: The results of this study showed that preventable and curable eye diseases were most common. Age-related ocular conditions, especially senile cataracts (22.9%), formed the main ocular morbidity in the outpatient eye clinic.
Anterior segment eye infection (19.1%) was observed with some frequency. However, trachoma eye infection (1.8%) was unexpectedly less common. This observation may indicate an improvement in rural sanitation and water supply.
Conclusion: Data analysis showed mostly preventable and curable eye diseases to be in the majority. These in most cases were age-related, i.e., occurring in older patients.
It is therefore recommended, that an integrated eye care programme that would target cataract backlog, glaucoma screening and other conditions with sufficient training and education of primary eye-care workers, school teachers, community extension workers and the community at large would benefit the Giwa community.
Key words: outreach, eye diseases, pattern, rural community
Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology Vol.12 (1) 2004: 1-5