Original Research

Refractive error in school children in Agona Swedru, Ghana

G. O. Ovenseri-Ogbomo, R. Assien
African Vision and Eye Health | South African Optometrist: Vol 69, No 2 | a129 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v69i2.129 | © 2010 G. O. Ovenseri-Ogbomo, R. Assien | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 2010 | Published: 11 December 2010

About the author(s)

G. O. Ovenseri-Ogbomo, Department of Optometry, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
R. Assien, Eye Unit, Regional Hospital, Koforidua, Ghana

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Uncorrected refractive errors remains a public health problem among different population groups. Among schoolchildren, uncorrected refractive errors have a considerable impact on learning andacademic achievement especially in underserved and under-resourced communities. A school based cross-sectional study was carriedout to estimate the prevalence and distribution of refractive error among schoolchildren in the Agona Swedru municipality of Central Region of Ghana. 637 schoolchildren aged 11-18 years old were randomly selected for the study. Non-cycloplegic refraction was performed on each child who failed the reading test. Hyperopia was defined as spherical power of ≥ + 0.75 D, myopia as ≤ – 0.50 D and astigmatism as a cylindrical power of ≤ – 0.50 D. Of the children examined, only 13.3% had previously had an eye examination.Visual impairment (VA of 6/12 or worse in the better eye) was present in 4.5% of the children examined. Of those who failed the reading test, 85.9% had refractive error. The prevalence of hyperopia, myopia and astigmatism was 5.0%, 1.7% and 6.6% respectively. The study concludes that uncorrected refractive error is a common cause of visual impairment among schoolchildren in the municipality. A low uptake of eye care is also noted in the study. The study therefore recommends that the education authority in collaboration with the District Health Directorate institute appropriate measures to ensure compulsory eye examination for schoolchildren in the Agona Swedru district. (S Afr Optom 2010 69(2) 86-92)


Refractive errors; ametropia in schoolchildren in Ghana; visual impairment.


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