ehealth digital library

Digital library of
the Tanzania
health
community

Two strategies for correcting refractive errors in school students in Tanzania: randomised comparison, with implications for screening programmes.

Wedner, S., Masanja, H., Bowman, R., Todd, J., Bowman, R. and Gilbert, C. Two strategies for correcting refractive errors in school students in Tanzania: randomised comparison, with implications for screening programmes. The British journal of ophthalmology, 92 (1). pp. 19-24. ISSN 1468-2079

[img] PDF
mili15.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (279kB)

Abstract

To compare whether free spectacles or only a prescription for spectacles influences wearing rates among Tanzanian students with un/undercorrected refractive error (RE). Cluster randomised trial. 37 secondary schools in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Distance visual acuity was measured in 6,904 year-1 students (90.2% response rate; median age 14 years; range 11-25 years) using a Snellen E-chart. 135 had RE requiring correction. Schools were randomly allocated to free spectacles (arm A) or prescription only (arm B). Primary outcome: Spectacle use at 3 months. The prevalence of un/undercorrected RE was 1.8% (95% CI: 1.5 to 2.2%). At 3 months, 27/58 (47%) students in arm A were wearing spectacles or had them at school compared with 13/50 (26%) in arm B (adjusted OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 6.7). Free spectacles and myopia were independently associated with spectacle use. The low prevalence of /undercorrected RE and poor uptake of spectacles, even when provided free, raises doubts about the value of vision-screening programmes in Tanzanian secondary schools. Policy decisions on school vision screening in middle- and low-income countries should take account of the cost-effectiveness as well as competing demands for scarce resources.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Refractive errors, students, schools, Tanzania screening programmes, adolescent, school health services, spectacles, distance visual acuity
Subjects: Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
Divisions: Ifakara Health Institute > Biomedical
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2012 09:22
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2012 08:46
URI: http://ihi.eprints.org/id/eprint/138

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics