Review Article

Visual impairments amongst preschool and school attendees: A scoping review of vision school screening in Nigeria and Kenya

Irene Langeggen, Kenechukwu Ofochebe
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 81, No 1 | a711 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v81i1.711 | © 2022 Irene Langeggen, Kenechukwu Ofochebe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 October 2021 | Published: 23 August 2022

About the author(s)

Irene Langeggen, Department of Optometry, Radiography and Light Design, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, University of South-Eastern Norway, Kongsberg, Norway
Kenechukwu Ofochebe, Department of Optometry, Radiography and Light Design, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, University of South-Eastern Norway, Kongsberg, Norway


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Abstract

Background: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasises the importance of quality education and good health. Vision problems affect the academic performance of schoolchildren in developing and under-resourced countries. The most prevalent vision problem amongst children is uncorrected refractive errors (URE).

Aim: To gain knowledge about vision problems and visual impairments (VI) through school vision screening amongst children in Kenya and Nigeria.

Method: A scoping review of online databases (Web of Science and PubMed) and one African registry (African Journals Online) for articles from January 2011 until April 2021 was conducted. The authors included 26 articles of the 439 screened.

Results: The literature revealed inconsistencies in how VI was defined. The main cause of vision problems is URE. Furthermore, there is a lack of systematic school vision screening tools and programmes.

Conclusion: Efficient eye care services to schoolchildren aged 3–18 years in Kenya and Nigeria must involve multiple disciplinary interventions and governmental responsibility. Collaboration models between public and private health sectors, nongovernmental organisations and families are necessary to prevent VI amongst children. Better vision enhances school performance.


Keywords

children’s rights; visual school screening; visual impairments; refractive errors; multidisciplinary healthcare

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