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COMMUNITY EYE CARE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 203-206

Screening for visual impairment: Outcome among schoolchildren in a rural area of Delhi


Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Neeti Rustagi
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.95872

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Background: Uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of vision impairment in school-aged children. The current study focuses on the effectiveness of school eye screening in correcting refractive errors. Objectives: 1. To study the magnitude of visual impairment among school children. 2. To assess the compliance of students for refraction testing, procurement and use of spectacles. Materials and Methods: An intervention study was conducted in schools of the north- west district of Delhi, in the rural field practice area of a medical college. Students studying in five government schools in the field practice area were chosen as the study subjects. Results: Out of 1123 students enrolled, 1075 (95.7%) students were screened for refractive errors. Low vision (visual acuity < 20/60) in the better eye was observed in 31 (2.9%) children and blindness (visual acuity <20/200) in 10 (0.9%) children. Compliance with referral for refraction was very low as only 51 (41.5%) out of 123 students could be tested for refraction. Out of 48 students, 34 (70.8%) procured spectacles from family resources but its regular use was found among only 10 (29.4%) students. The poor compliance among students stems out of various myths and perceptions regarding use of spectacles prevalent in the community. Conclusion: Refractive error is an important cause of avoidable blindness among rural school children. Behavior change communication among rural masses by spreading awareness about eye health and conducting operational research at school and community level to involve parent's teachers associations and senior students to motivate students for use of spectacles may improve utilization of existing eye health services in rural areas.


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