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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 44-49

Prevalence and Causes of Childhood Blindness and Visual Impairment in Quranic Boarding Schools in Al-Gazira State of Sudan

1 Department of Optometry, Hussam Optical Company, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Neelain University, Khartoum, Sudan
3 Department of Contact Lens, Faculty of Optometry and Visual Sciences, Al-Neelain University, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Zoelfigar Dafalla Mohamed
Department of Optometry, Hussam Holding Company, P.O. Box 40851, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/sjopthal.sjopthal_1_18

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Aim: This study aimed to determine the prevalence and causes of childhood blindness and visual impairment among Quranic boarding schools children in Al-Gazira state of Sudan. Materials and Methods: A total of 822 children were screened, and they distributed in 8 traditional Quranic schools. The study divided into two phases, the first one was designed to detect the visually impaired children, and in the second one, the affected children were investigated deeply through inner eye, refraction, and cover test examinations. Results: The findings indicated that the prevalence of childhood visual impairment (6/12 and worse binocularly) with the best correction was 12 (1.5%) in children of traditional Quranic boarding schools in Al-Gazira state of Sudan. The prevalence of visual impairment among children was increased with the age of children (P ≤ 0.001). The uncorrected refractive errors was the main cause of visual impairment which represented (36%) of impaired children followed by cataract (21.5%), corneal opacities (21%), optic nerve lesion (10.7%), retinitis pigmentosa (3.6%), glaucoma (3.6%), and squint (3.6%). Conclusion: The study concluded that the most causes of childhood visual impairment in traditional Quranic boarding schools in Al-Gazira state of Sudan were avoidable. Uncorrected refractive errors was a major cause of visual impairment among children; this pointed out the need for urgent a comprehensive childhood eye care plan to deliver eye care services for them, through cooperation between governmental, community stakeholders, and nongovernmental organization working in the prevention of childhood blindness.

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