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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 935-939

Assessing the inclusion of primary school children in vision screening for refractive error program of India


Dr R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Praveen Vashist
Room No. 788, Community Ophthalmology, Dr R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1036_17

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Purpose: In India, teachers screen middle school children using the 6/9 Snellen's optotype. Recently, the National Program for Control of Blindness included primary school students also. The present cross-sectional study was planned to assess the inclusion of primary school students. Compliance to spectacles was ascertained after 6 months follow-up. Methods: Randomly selected 23 Government primary schools. A total of 30 teachers were nominated and given hands-on training in vision screening and recording formats. Teachers conducted vision screening of primary school students of their respective schools using the 6/12 Snellen's chart and referred students with subnormal vision to optometrist. Optometrist also validated the screening done by teachers. Optometrist screened the vision of 5% randomly selected children screened by teachers as having normal vision. Descriptive statistics used STATA version 13.0. Results: A total of 6056 students screened by the teachers. Sensitivity and specificity of teacher screening were 92.3% (confidence interval [CI] 88.6–95.0) and 72.6% (CI 68.2–76.6)), respectively. About 277 students underwent refraction and 186 prescribed spectacles. The prevalence of myopia, hypermetropia, and astigmatism is 2.5% (2.1–2.9), 0.6% (0.4–0.8), and 1.3% (1.0–1.6), respectively. Compliance to spectacles usage is 36%. Conclusion: Burden of refractive error in primary school is very low. Trained teachers can identify children with subnormal vision, but the false-positive rate is very high. Compliance to spectacle use among primary school children is also less. Vision screening by teachers prioritized in secondary schools and preschool screening should be done by more skilled eye care workers preferably optometrist.


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