Aim: To describe the visual status of primary school children as baseline data and basis for recommending routine school eye screening.
Methods: This was a school-based, cross-sectional, descriptive study on primary school children aged 6-18 years attending 3 government-owned community primary schools in Inyishi, Ikeduru Local Government Area, Imo State. Visual acuity assessment, anterior and posterior segment examinations were performed. Intraocular pressure measurement and dilated fundoscopy were also carried out in children with a vertical cup to disc ratio > 0.6 in either eye and a poor view of the fundus through undilated pupils respectively.
Results: Three hundred and sixty-seven children were examined. Majority 275 (74.93%) had normal ocular findings while 92 (25.07%) had ocular morbidity. Prevalence of mild, moderate visual impairment, and monocular blindness were 7.9%, 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The ocular morbidities noted were Glaucoma suspect (9.54%), refractive error (7.63%), allergic conjunctivitis (6.27%), amblyopia (0.82%), corneal opacity (0.54%)) and strabismus (0.27%). There was a statistically significant association of ocular morbidity with gender but none with academic class and age. A statistically significant association was also recorded between gender and glaucoma suspect.
Conclusion: High prevalence of ocular morbidity and the various types of ocular morbidities were recorded, with the commonest eye disorder being glaucoma suspect. It is important, therefore, to conduct routine school eye screening programme in order to identify such ocular morbidities and refer adequately.