Authors
Gerald Msukwa, Margaret Njuguna, Cillasy Tumwesigye, Bernadeth Shilio, Paul Courtright, Susan Lewallen

Cataract in children attending schools for the blind and resource centers in eastern Africa

publication date
2009 May
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe results of a representative sample of children who have undergone cataract surgery in schools for the blind in 4 African countries.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Participants: Children enrolled at schools for the blind in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Methods: We used a population-proportional-to-size methodology to select a representative sample of schools for the blind and annexes and included all the children attending the selected schools. Trained teams using standardized examination methods and a modified World Health Organization form examined the children. The form was modified specifically to collect information on outcomes of cataract surgery.


Conclusion/Results

Results: Of 1062 children examined, 196 (18%) had undergone cataract surgery or had cataract as the major cause of visual impairment; 140 (71%) had bilateral surgery, 24 (12%) had unilateral surgery, and 32 (16%) had not had surgery. Of operated eyes, 118 (41%) had visual acuity > or =20/200. Intraocular lenses were implanted in 65% of the operated eyes. Eyes with intraocular lens were more likely to have better vision than those without (P for trend = 0.04). Amblyopia was the most common cause of poor visual acuity in children who had undergone cataract surgery.

Conclusions: The number of children in the schools who receive cataract surgery has increased greatly since 1995. The high rate of amblyopia highlights the critical need for programs to find children earlier and to ensure adequate follow-up after surgery. Without such programs, the value of training pediatric surgeons will not be fully realized.


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Testimonials


My eight year old daughter was terrified to go to the eye doctor for fear of her eyes being dilated. The doctor was SO KID friendly! He immediately made her comfortable by engaging her in conversation. It was a geat experience.


Joya B.

Dr. Garbus spent an amazing amount of time to solve my very complicated visual problems. Over the years he has continually achieved results beyond what others felt possible. He is always up to date on the latest science. He is great!


Dolores K.

Family Vision Care Valencia makes it so easy. Staff is knows what they are doing and Dr. Garbus is thorough and kept me well informed during the exam.


Kristy B.

I have been coming to Family Vision Center for almost 20 years. Dr. Garbus has been able to help my vision when other doctors could not. Now my kids see him as well. I highly recommend this office!


Autumn C.

The Doctor is very good. I felt on this visit he seemed rushed. I had questions to ask him but he was already with another patient. I still do not know if my eyes are the same , worse, or better.


Howard B.

All the staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and has been for all the years I have been going there.


Mary Ann H.
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