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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-62

Prevalence and possible attributes of decreased visual acuity among primary schoolchildren in Kufa City, Al-Najaf Governorate


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq
2 Department of Family and Community Medicine and Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Shaymaa Abdul Lteef Alfadhul
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Kufa, Najaf
Iraq
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_15_18

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Background: Visual impairment in children is a severe worldwide public problem. It can be detrimental to child's ability to learn. In Iraq, the size of this problem among primary school children is not well defined. Objectives: to determine the prevalence of visual impairment among primary school children in Kufa city, Al Najaf Governorate and to identify some factors associated with decreased visual acuity in the sample. Subjects and Methods: A cross sectional study was performed during the period of 1st of March to the 15th of April, 2017; the studied sample was 630 primary school children aged 6 to 15 years of both genders from fourteen governmental schools, both students and schools were randomly selected. Data were collected by using questionnaire designed especially for this study. Measurement of each pupil's vision was done by using standard Snellen E chart. Those with visual acuity(VA<6/6) was regarded as visually impaired. The Statistical Package for Social Science, SPSS, (version 20) program was used for data entry and analysis. Results: From the total participants, there were 533(84.6%) students with normal VA(VA=6/6), 97(15.4%) students with decreased VA(VA<6/6). It was found that majority 81/97 (84.5%) of children with decreased VA were under the age of 10 years with a high significant statistical difference (X2=28.028, P = 0.0001). Statistical analysis showed a significant association of decreased vision with female gender (X2=4.429, P = 0.0353), rural residency (X2=6.446, P = 0.01), low socioeconomic status (X2=7.128, P = 0.028), and positive family history of wearing spectacles(X2=7.414, P = 0.006), the highest rate of decreased visual acuity was shown in the students of second grade( 24.7%), however, the grade was not statistically significant (X2=7.128, P = 0.265). The overall prevalence of low vision (VA≤6/18) in the studied sample was 5.4% (34/630), statistically, there is a significant correlation between poor vision and female gender (P = 0.031), however, there is no significant association of poor vision with residency (P = 0.373), socioeconomic status (P = 0.431), and family history of using spectacles (P = 0.146). Conclusions: The prevalence of decreased visual acuity among primary school children in Kufa city was 15.4%., reduced vision is significantly higher in younger age group(≤10 years old), female gender, rural residency, lower socioeconomic status, and in those of positive family history of wearing spectacles. Female gender is significantly associated with low vision.


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