West African Journal of Medicine

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Ocular findings seen among the staff of an institution in Lagos, Nigeria

AO Ashaye, MC Asuzu


Background:The degree to which ocular morbidity affects workers productivity in the developing countries has not been studied adequately. A federal government research institute based in Lagos introduced an annual health screen for all its workers, which included eye tests. This provided an opportunity to study the pattern of ocular conditions among workers who were 30 years and above, and to determine the effect of eye diseases on the workers productivity.

Study design: Detailed eye examination including refraction, was done on every respondent at the institution\'s clinic by an ophthalmologist. A questionnaire on ocular health status and occupational history was administered independently by an ophthalmic nurse. Sickness absenteeism, use of the clinic were obtained from clinic records, and the results were analysed.

Results: The common ocular conditions were uncorrected or poorly corrected refractive error, uncorrected or poorly corrected presbyopia and allergic conjunctivitis. Glaucoma, maculopathy and optic atrophy were causes of severe visual impairment or blindness in 1.9% of the subjects. Absenteeism and clinic use were more common in subjects with ocular morbidity than those with non-ocular morbidity. Subjects with ocular morbidity had more illnesses, absenteeism and used the clinic more.

Conclusion: Ocular problems which reduce worker\'s productivity are prevalent among the staff of the institution studied. They are mostly unrecognised.

Keywords: ocular findings, workers, refractive error, productivity

West African Journal of Medicine Vol. 24(2) 2005: 96-99
AJOL African Journals Online