Authors
K M Waddell

Childhood blindness and low vision in Uganda

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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose: To examine the causes and outcome of subnormal vision starting in childhood in Uganda, to aid in planning for its avoidance and for rehabilitation.

Methods: All those seen having subnormal vision with onset from birth to 15 years (total 1135) (schools 1983-97; community 1988-97) were included in the study. Clinical examination was performed and a World Health Organisation (WHO) form completed, with analysis by its computer program. Main outcome measures were visual acuity, signs of eye pathology, outcome of treatment and refraction and low vision assessment.


Conclusion/Results

Results: By WHO category 14.8% had visual impairment, 6.5% severe visual impairment, 63.2% were blind and 15.2% were too young to test. The acuities and causes were similar in school and community groups, excepting cortical visual impairment and multiple impairment, which are much commoner in the community. Cataract was the largest cause of visual impairment (30.7%) and surgical outcome was unsatisfactory. Visual loss following corneal ulceration was the second commonest cause of subnormal vision (22.0%).

Conclusions: Cataract and corneal damage cause half of all subnormal vision, which is avoidable for both. Cataract surgery needs to be upgraded. To prevent corneal visual loss, primary health care should continue to be expanded, especially measles immunisation and nutrition care; rubella immunisation should be added. Special education needs to be greatly expanded. Public perceptions need changing if results are to be improved and help offered to more than the present minority.


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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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