Orient Journal of Medicine

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Pattern of Eye Disorders among Inmates of a Nigerian Prison

EE Ekwenchi, I Ezegwui, U Ezepue, R Umeh


Aim: To determine the prevalence of eye disorders among the inmates of a Nigerian prison with a view to providing eye health care for the prisoners. Methods: A cross sectional survey of the ocular health status of the prisoners in a Nigerian prison was carried out using a pretested protocol designed for the study. Data was obtained on bio-data as well as anterior and posterior segment examinations. These were analyzed using EPI-INFO version 6.0. Results: Two hundred and sixty-nine (26.8%) out of the 1005 prisoners examined had eye disorders. The commonest ocular problems noted were presbyopia (21.5%), pterygium (19.3%) refractive error (15.6%) and allergic conjunctivitis (12.5%). One inmate (0.1%) was blind; 12 (1.2%) had monocular blindness while 5(0.5%) had low vision. Cataract was the commonest cause of monocular blindness and also the only cause of bilateral blindness. Conclusion: The prevalent eye diseases in the prison community are similar to the findings in the general population. There is a need to train the staff of the medical clinics in Nigerian prisons as integrated eye health workers to enable them meet the basic eye health needs of the prisoners.

Keywords: Presbyopia, Refractive Error, Prisoners
AJOL African Journals Online