Perceptions of elementary school teachers of their pupils\' eye health in ilorin, nigeria.
Background: Despite the significant roles that school teachers are expected to play in school eye health programmes, their perceptions on their pupils' eye health have not been adequately determined. Objective: The study aims to ascertain the perceptions of elementary school teachers in Ilorin, Nigeria, of some factors that could influence their pupils' eye health. Materials and Methods: A knowledge-attitude-practice (K-A-P) survey using structural self-administered questionnaires was conducted from May to July 2005 on 172 consenting teachers. The teachers were selected by proportionate sampling from 6 randomly selected primary schools in Ilorin. Results: Majority of them (98.8%) rated good eye sight as important or very important to pupils' leaning, and identified good nutrition (84.9%) and adequate lighting (74.4%) as requirements for optimal eye health. During an outbreak of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis among pupils, close to two-thirds of the teachers would send home affected pupils (61.6%). Pupils with defective eyesight would have their parents informed (77.9%) and seated closer to the writing-board (77.7%). Eye injuries had been observed among pupils during recreation (42.4%) and following fights among themselves (51.2%). Conclusion: Majority of the teachers appeared to have an adequate knowledge of, the correct attitude to and correct practices of, the factors that have positive bearings on their pupils' eye health. Eye care specialists should find it easy to train this pool of qualified teachers for some roles in screening pupils for eye defects and diseases in school eye health programmes.
Keywords: School health programme, Children eye health, Teachers perceptions
Sahel Medical Journal Vol. 10 (3) 2007: pp. 79-83