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COMMUNITY EYE CARE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133-138

Ocular morbidity prevalence among school children in Shimla, Himachal, North India


1 Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Giyan Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Ram Nagar, Banur, District Patiala, India
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Rajindra Prasad Medical College, Tanda, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhu Gupta
House Number: 3472, Sector: 37-D, Chandigarh (U.T.)-160 036
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.45503

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Background: Data on eye diseases among school children is not readily available. Considering the fact that one-third of India's blind lose their eyesight before the age of 20 years and many of them are under five when they become blind, early detection and treatment of ocular morbidity among children is important. Aim: To estimate the prevalence of ocular morbidity among school children of age 6-16 years. Settings: Government and private coeducational schools in urban area of Shimla. Design: Cross-sectional Materials and Methods: Government and private coeducational schools selected by stratified random sampling. About 1561 school children, studying in elementary through secondary class in these schools were examined from August 2001 to January 2002 in Shimla. A doctor did visual acuity and detailed ophthalmic examination. Statistical analysis: The Chi-square test was used to test differences in proportions. Differences were considered to be statistically significant at the 5% level. Results: Prevalence of ocular morbidity was 31.6% (CI=29.9-32.1%), refractive errors 22% (CI=21.1-22.8%), squint 2.5% (CI=2.4-2.6%), color blindness 2.3% (CI=2.2-2.4%), vitamin A deficiency 1.8 % (CI=1.7-1.9%), conjunctivitis 0.8% (CI=0.79-0.81%). Overall prevalence of ocular morbidity in government and private schools did not show any statistical significant difference. Prevalence of conjunctivitis was significantly (P<0.5) more in government schools. Conclusion: A high prevalence of ocular morbidity among high-school children was observed. Refractive errors were the most common ocular disorders.


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