Management of refractive errors and low vision among basic school children in Atwima District

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The study sought to discuss the management of refractive errors and low vision among basic school children in the Atwima District. A sample of 1,177 public basic school children aged between 5-19 years was randomly selected from ten basic schools for examination. Thirteen (13) key informants in the district were purposively selected form the GES, GHS and opinion leaders. Data were collected through vision screening of the school children and in-depth interviews with the key informants. The prevalence of refractive errors among the school children was 5.7% while one or more path logical conditions were found in 24.6% of the pupils screened. The commonest ocular condition was allergic conjunctivitis with 12.1% of the children suffering from that disease. Only two pupils (%) suffered from low vision. None was blind in both despite the prevalence of vision impairment among basic school children in the study area; there is no eye care professional resident in the district. Patients with ocular conditions hardly report to the health facilities. They usually travel to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) eye clinic in Kumasi. An eye care outreach team from Offinso Hospital visits the Nyinahin Government Hospital on monthly basic; however, their target is not the school children. Stakeholders had agreed to collaborate with the Department of optometry and Visual Science of the KNUST to visit the schools regularly to manage the refractive errors and other minor ocular conditions of the school children in the district.
A dissertation presented to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of in Health Services Planning and Management, 2004