Bowman, R. J. C., Wedner, S., Bowman, R. F., Masanja, H., Bunce, C., Wood, M. L. and Gilbert, C. (2010) Optic neuropathy endemic in secondary school children in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The British journal of ophthalmology, 94 (2). pp. 146-149. ISSN 1468-2079
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To investigate the prevalence and causes of optic neuropathy, reported as epidemic in 1997, among secondary school students in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
First year students (n = 10,892) from 63 secondary schools located within 30 km from the base hospital were interviewed and had a visual acuity (VA) screening test. Students failing the 6/12-line in either eye were defined as having "poor eyesight" and referred to the base hospital where an optometrist re-tested VA and refracted them. An ophthalmologist examined students with VA of 6/12 or worse in either eye and visual impairment was defined as VA of worse than 6/12 with best correction. Associations between optic neuropathy, socioeconomic status and educational results were investigated.
Students' ages ranged from 12 to 22 (mean 15.2) years; 50.6% were male. The prevalence of optic neuropathy was 0.3 (SD 0.051)%. The condition affected older students and was associated with the family having fewer economic possessions (car, computer, television). Optic neuropathy accounted for 19/33 (58%) of bilateral visual impairment cases. No effect of the disease on educational performance was identified.
Optic neuropathy remains a significant problem in this population and can now be termed endemic rather than epidemic. Further research into its causes is required.
|Keywords:||Optic neuropathy endemic, secondary school,Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Endemic Diseases|
|Subjects:||Health Systems > Surveillance, monitoring & evaluation
Non-communicable disease (NCD) > Disability
|Divisions:||Ifakara Health Institute > Biomedical|
|Depositing User:||Mr Joseph Madata|
|Date Deposited:||10 Sep 2012 08:29|
|Last Modified:||10 Sep 2012 08:29|
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