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|Title: ||Level of Awareness and Knowledge of Glaucoma among Ghanaian Undergraduates|
|Authors: ||Kumah, David Ben|
Djeagbo, Philip Tetteh
Ankamah- Lomotey, Stephen
|Issue Date: ||6-Mar-2018|
|Publisher: ||EC OPHTHALMOLOGY|
|Citation: ||EC OPHTHALMOLOGY|
|Abstract: ||Introduction: Though Ghana has been identified as the second country in the world with the highest prevalence of glaucoma, not
much attention has been given to this silent thief of sight.
Keywords: Glaucoma; Knowledge; Awareness; Undergraduates
Glaucoma is a group of disorders characterized by gradual optic nerve damage leading to a characteristic appearance of the optic nerve
head and a certain pattern of visual field defect that is irreversible. Glaucoma is most often associated but not invariably with high intraocular
pressure (IOP), making IOP a major risk factor, but not the only risk factor for its development. Hence a condition with an increased
IOP without any glaucomatous damage is given the term ocular hypertension whereas in a case showing signs of glaucomatous damages
with low or normal IOP, the term normal or low-tension glaucoma is used .
Objectives: The purpose of the study is to determine the level of awareness and knowledge on glaucoma amongst undergraduates of
the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana.
Methodology: A descriptive cross sectional study was employed. Using purposive and convenience sampling techniques, a total of
300 students comprising 177 (58.9%) males and 123 (41.1%) females participated in the study. The ages of participants ranged from
17 to 32 years with a mean age of 21.89±2.37 years. A self-administered standard questionnaire was used for the data collection.
Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 and Chi-squared tests were done at a 5% significance
level to assess the statistical significance of associations obtained.
Results: More than three-quarters (83.33%) of the participants had heard of glaucoma and 247 participants (82.33%) knew it
affects the eye. There was a significant association between awareness of glaucoma and participant’s college of affiliation in the
university (p = 0.047). Out of the total participants, one-third of them (33.9%) had undergone an eye screening or examination in
the past one year. The mean score of knowledge on glaucoma for all the participants in the study was 41.54% with almost two-third
(59%) of the participants having poor knowledge. A majority of 49.4% of the total participants indicated the media as their source of
information and knowledge on glaucoma.
Conclusion: Glaucoma awareness among undergraduates of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana
was high but their level of knowledge on glaucoma was low. It is recommended that the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of
Health should collaborate to incorporate eye health education with a special focus on glaucoma into the academic curricula of high
schools. This will go a no small way in preventing needless blindness from glaucoma through early diagnosis and effective management.
The onus also lies on eye care professionals to embark on eye health education in schools, communities and institutions within
|Description: ||This article is published in EC OPHTHALMOLOGY|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Science|
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