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   Table of Contents      
Year : 1983  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 505-510

An epidemiological study of ocular condition among primary school children of calcutta corporation

Project Doctors, Sight Preservation Committee, Lighthouse. for the Blind, Calcutta, India

Correspondence Address:
Anutosh Datta
Convenor, Sight Preservation Project Committee, Lighthouse for the Blind, Calcutta-26
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 6671745

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How to cite this article:
Datta A, Choudhury N, Kundu K. An epidemiological study of ocular condition among primary school children of calcutta corporation. Indian J Ophthalmol 1983;31:505-10

How to cite this URL:
Datta A, Choudhury N, Kundu K. An epidemiological study of ocular condition among primary school children of calcutta corporation. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1983 [cited 2019 Dec 12];31:505-10. Available from:

Table 7

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Table 7

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Table 6

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Table 6

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Table 5

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Table 5

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Table 4

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Table 4

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Table 3

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Table 3

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Table 2

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Table 2

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Table 1

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Table 1

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The aim of present study was to undertake an extensive epidemiological survey of various ocular conditions among the students from schools of Calcutta Corporation which cater mainly for children of low income group families as well as from the families living in slums. The relation of nutrition and body growth with different ocular conditions have also been tried in this study.

  Material and Methods Top

The sample for the study was selected from the students of Primary Schools Children of the Corporation of Calcutta and was organised by Sight Preservation Committee of Lighthouse for the Blind and aided by Department of Health, Government of West Bengal, Total number of students available were 24,007 between the ages of 5-13 years. Co-operation of the school authorities and from the students were freely available. -

At the time of examination each student was enquired about respective social economic condition approximately monthly income and occupation of their parents; accommodation of their residence of hygienic condition of the environments. Weight of the individual students was taken by portable weighing machine, External examination was done with the help of torch, loupe and ophthalmoscope, Visual acuity of each eye was tested separately by Snellen's Test Type hung in a standard length class room against the wall with proper illumination. Simultaneously cover test to exclude the possibility of Squint was done. Where the subjective test failed or co-operation were not available these students were subjected to cycloplegic test in the dark room for Retinoscopy. For the dark room examination separate small class room was utilised where assistant mainly the teacher used to hold the torch light in place of ophthalmic bracket,

Students were examined the refraction classifying into Hypermetropia, Hypermetropia with Astigmation and Myopia, Myopia with Astigmation. In case of cycloplegic refraction due allowance was given.

Remaining students suffering from Vitamin and other deficiencies e.g. Night blindness, Xerosis with or without Bitot's spot, Keratomalacia and other ailments e,g:, trachoma, congenital cataract, pterygium, phlyctenular conjunctivitis, seborrheic blepharitis, corneal opacity due to injury were noted. And these were recorded in separate heading in [Table - 5] and [Table - 6] Funduscopy of the majority cases revealed no abnor­mality except a few cases of Retinitis Pigmentosa.

  Observation Top

Of 24,007 students examined of which 13,418 boys and 10,589 girls and only 465 (1.94%) were found to have error of refraction.

Age Sex and Religion: Percentage distribu­tion of different refractive error noted by age, sex and religion as shown in [Table - 1][Table - 2].

Age: Students were divided into three age groups, e.g., 5-7, 8-10 and 11-13 years.

Sex & Religion: We examined both Hindu students (14,783) (61.57%) and Mohammedan students (9,224)'(39.43%) of which Hindu boys were (7,931) (53.65%) Hindu girls (6,852) (46.35%) and Mohammedan boys (5,487) (59.48%) and girls (3,737) (41.52%) respectively. Incidence of Mohammedan boys students coming for education is much more higher than girls students of that community. [Table - 1][Table - 2].

Relative incidence of refractive error is as shown in [Table - 3] (A) and (B).

Out of 465 (1.94%) students suffering from refractive error only 202 (43.65%) were Hypermetropic. Of this only 120 (59.41%) cases were simple Hypermetropia and 82 (40.59%) were Hypermetropia with Astigma­tism. This Hypermetropia ranged from +0.50 DSPH to +2.50 DSPH only. 4 cases ranged from + 2.50 DSPH to + 6.50 DSPH. Similarly Astigmatism never went more than + 1.50 DCYL. Among the 120 cases of simple Hypermetropia, Hindu students were 75 and Mohammedan 45 only. Out of 82 students I Hypermetropia with Astigmatism Hindu students were 55 and Mohammedan 27 respectively. [Table - 3] (A) and [Table - 3] (B) show relative incidence of Hypermetropic refractive error was higher in proportion between the age 8-10 years.

[Table - 4] shows 263 (56.35%) cases were suffering from Myopia. Again out of which simple Myopia numbered 216 (82.25%) and Myopia with Astigmatism 47 (17.75%) only as shown in [Table - 4] (A) and [Table - 4] (B). Myopia were of moderate degree varied from - 0.50 DSPH to - 2.50 DSPH. A few cases were - 2.50 DSPH to - 3.50 DSPH and only 2 cases were - 4.50 DSPH suffering from Pathological Myopia. Myopic Astigmatism were of very low degree usually ranged from - 0.50 DCYL to - 1.00 DCYL. Out of 216 simple Myopic cases Hindu students were 115 and Mohammedan 101 respectively and in Astigmatism cases Hindu were 30 and 17 were in Mohammedan. [Table - 4] again shown that students of elderly group i.e. 11-13 years suffering from Myopic defects in both the community, whereas Hindu girls have more tendency to error than Hindu boys. Contrary to Mohammedan boys were comparatively more Myopic than girls of that community.

[Table - 5] shows that out of total examined students 24,007 only 2,160 (8.94%) were suffering from ocular involvement due to vitamin deficiency and proportionately Mohammedan students suffered more (55.19%) that of Hindu students (44.81%). Among the Mohammedan students tender age group showed more vitamin deficiency diseases.

The guardians of the students are mainly employed in the Calcutta Corporation, various companies as Class IV staff, i.e. peons, jamadars, sweepers, darwans etc. and some are also engaged as hawkers, small grocery shop owners, beatle shop owners, tea stall owners, bickriwala, while their women folk are engaged in the part-time maid servant and cooking job. Very often the students are engaged in helping their parents in part-time job for earning their livelihood. So inference can be made that the students of urban slums are easily fed by the family earnings.

Entire student community was classified as proportion residential accommodation into 2 types of slums as per example slum group A includes area of Kalighat-Alipore-Tollygunge ­College Street-Beadon Street-Shyam Bazar portion of Entally-Beck Bagan-Ballygunge-a portion of Chetla-Barrabazar-Salt Lake-Belia. ghata etc. In slum group B includes Tiljala­Beniapukur-Tangra-Kalabagan-Chetla Durgapur Bridge- Cossipore Paikpara-Narkeldanga Rajabazar area.

In group-A we found 4800 of which boys 2683 and girls 2117 whereas group-B class number 19,207 out of 10,729 boys and 8,46& girls respectively.

[Table - 7] (C) showed .. normal student (indicates student of average weight with average nourishment).

  Discussion and Summary Top

A study of Refractive Error and Ocular diseases was made in a sample of 24,007 Primary Schools children of Calcutta Corporation out of a contingent of 39,230 students population.

The incidence of refractive error was found to be as low as nearly 2%. Out of which the error of refraction Hypermetropia and Myopia showed very low degree (ranged from 0.50 DSPH to maximum level of 3.00 DSPH). The incidence of Astigmatism was found in small number of cases and that again ranged from 0.50 DCYL to maximum level 1.50 DCYL. In respect of age the incidence of Hypermetropia was more common in age between 8-10 years and of Myopia was common in elderly age ,group that is 11-13 years

Grade-I mal-nutrition:-Body weight (81-90%) expected.

Grade-II mal-nutrition:-Body weight (71-80%) expected.

Grade-III mal-nutrition:-(60-70%) body weight expected.

This above table shows that higher proportion of the students were of under weight and under nourished belonging to the group-B slum area in compare to Group-A.

.Only 52 cases was found to be suffering from Squint out of which 31 cases of con-con­vergent squint and 21 cases of con-divergent squint. Out of them 11 students were blind in single eye due to Amblyopia. Only 4 cases of congenital cataract were found and were operated at Behala Balananda Brahmaahari Hospital on alternate eyes in a time limit 6-:12 months. All the operated students regained good vision.

Vitamin deficiency disorder only 9%. Students suffering from other ailments totalled only 4%. Students coming from poorer community classified in slum Group-B shows more cases of incidence than the students of slum Group-A.

Our studies shows that among the co-opera­tion schools children who mostly come from. the low socio-economic class the incidence of vitamin deficiency ocular diseases (9%) and refractive error (2%) is very low. This is contrary to the belief that children of the poorer section of the society suffer from multitudes of deficiency diseases and refractive error problems.

Our study obviously involves the urban section only so far these children who get admission to the Corporation Schools manage to get at least a pint of milk and a piece of vitamined bread each which are distributed to the students free of cost. May be motivation behind attending the schools is the tiffin-pack for which they are ready to come to the schools all the way irrespective of weather, or their illness.

  Acknowledgement Top

Thanks are due to Mr. S.M. Ghosh, President, Lighthouse for the Blind for his kind permission to publish the survey project. Mr Russi B: Gimmi Chair­man, Sight Preservation Project, Lighthouse for the blind for helping us with the requisite medicines, free supply of spectacles and guiding us. Mr Prasanta Sur, Hon'ble Minister, Local Self Government, Government of West Bengal: We are grateful to Education Officer of Corporation of Calcutta for helping this Surgery in different schools of Calcutta Corporation: Authors are also grateful to the school teachers of the Corporation Schools for their ungrudging support to make this Project a success: We are grateful to the students and their parents for active co-operation for the fulfillment of this Project survey. We are grateful to A.R. Bhadra, Department of Nuclear Medicines, Institute of Post­graduate Medical Research, Calcutta for his assistance in statistical work:


  [Table - 1], [Table - 2], [Table - 3], [Table - 4], [Table - 5], [Table - 6], [Table - 7]


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