Screening for refractive error among primary school children in Bayelsa state, Nigeria

  • Ibeinmo Opubiri
  • Chinyere Pedro-Egbe


Introduction: Background: Vision screening study in primary school children has not been done in Bayelsa State. This study aims to screen for refractive error among primary school children in Bayelsa State and use the data to plan for school Eye Health Program. Methods: A cross sectional study on screening for refractive error in school children was carried out in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in June 2009. A multistage sampling technique was used to select the study population (pupils aged between 5-15 years). Visual acuity (VA) for each eye , was assessed outside the classroom at a distance of 6 meters. Those with VA ≤6/9 were presented with a pinhole and the test repeated. Funduscopy was done inside a poorly lit classroom. An improvement of the VA with pinhole was considered refractive error. Data was analyzed with EPI INFO version 6. Results: A total of 1,242 school children consisting of 658 females and 584 males were examined.About 97.7% of pupils had normal VA (VA of 6/6) while 56 eyes had VAs ≤ 6/9. Of these 56 eyes, the visual acuity in 49 eyes (87.5%) improved with pinhole. Twenty seven pupils had refractive error, giving a prevalence of 2.2%. Refractive error involved both eyes in 22 pupils (81.5%) and the 8-10 years age range had the highest proportion (40.7%) of cases of refractive error followed by the 9-13 year-old age range (37%). Conclusion: The prevalence of refractive error was 2.2% and most eyes (97.7%) had normal vision.

Pan African Medical Journal 2013; 14: 74

Author Biographies

Ibeinmo Opubiri
Department of Ophthalmology, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Bayelsa State
Chinyere Pedro-Egbe
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Port Harcourt teaching Hospital, Rivers State

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688