Authors
Clare E Gilbert 1, Leon B Ellwein, Refractive Error Study in Children Study Group

Causes of childhood blindness: results from schools for the blind in south eastern Nigeria

publication date
2003 Jan
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

Aim: This cross sectional study was undertaken to identify the major causes of childhood severe visual impairment/blindness (SVI/BL) among students in schools for the blind in south eastern Nigeria with a view to offering treatment to those with remediable blindness.

Methods: 142 students attending three schools for the blind in the study area were interviewed and examined using the World Health Organization programme for prevention of blindness (WHO/PBL) childhood blindness proforma.


Conclusion/Results

Results: By anatomical classification, the major causes of SVI/BL identified in the children (aged 15 years or less) were lesions of the lens (30.4%), corneal lesions (21.7%), whole globe lesions (mainly phthisis bulbi) (17.4%), and glaucoma/buphthalmos (10.9%). For the young adults (more than 15 years) these lesions accounted for 31.9%, 21.3%, 23.4%, and 8.5% of SVI/BL, respectively. For all the students, the commonest single diagnoses were cataract (23.5%) and corneal scarring (21.4%), of which 86.7% were caused by measles. By aetiological classification, childhood factors (38.6%) constituted the major cause of blindness: 37.0% in the children and 39.4% in the young adults. In 74.5% of all the students, blindness was considered avoidable.

Conclusions: A high proportion of childhood blindness in schools for the blind in south eastern Nigeria is avoidable. Development of paediatric ophthalmology in Nigeria to manage childhood cataract and glaucoma is advocated.


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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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