Uniocular blindness among children in the Gambia
Background: Uniocular blindness in children though not uncommon has not been given prominence, as emphasis is placed on binocular blindness. Aim: To determine the common causes of uniocular blindness in children, and to suggest strategies for prevention. Methods: A prospective study involving children seen at the Eye Clinic of the Royal Victoria Hospital, The Gambia was undertaken; from the 1st December 1999 to 30th June 2000. All newly diagnosed cases of children who attended the clinic and were blind in one eye during the period of the study were included. A history was taken, visual acuity using age specific methods and ocular examinations were carried out. When necessary an examination under anaesthesia was performed. Results: Out of 470 children, 45(10%) had uniocular blindness, 39(86%) were aged 6-15years. The male - female ratio was 4:1. Common causes were trauma 28(62%), uveitis 4(9%), and corneal ulcer 3(7%) . Others included congenital cataract, glaucoma and retinoblastoma. Conclusion: The commonest cause of uniocular blindness was ocular trauma. Focus should be directed towards the prevention, early referral and appropriate treatment of ocular trauma in children. Strategies for the prevention of childhood blindness would also be applicable to uniocular blindness in The Gambia.
Port Harcourt Medical Journal Vol. 1 (3) 2007: pp. 167-170
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