Pattern of Eye Disorders in Ogbodo: A Rural Community in Rivers State
Keywords:Pattern of eye disorders, Rural community, Ogbodo, Nigeria
Background: The incidence and prevalence of poor vision and blindness in the world, especially among the rural communities in developing countries is on the increase. This had led to the WHO/IAPB-driven "Vision2020 right to sight: "global initiative against blindness in rural communities, aimed at reducing global blindness to the barest level by the year 2020. As part of its contribution in the global fight against blindness in the rural communities, Rotary International, a humanitarian global organization encourages all Rotary clubs worldwide to undertake eye- camps in rural communities as part of their community service. We report the pattern of eye disorders found among subjects of Ogbodo, a rural community in the Ikwerre local government area of Rivers state, during a one day Rotary eye camp.
Objectives: To determine the pattern of visual problems and eye disorders in the Ogbodo rural community and to sensitize and educate members of the community about eye care and prevention of blindness.
Methods: The eye camp held in February 2010. All eligible subjects, presenting at the camp had detailed eye examination comprising, visual acuity, refraction, and detailed ophthalmologic evaluation as permissible in a field study. Findings were captured in a pre-designed data sheet for analysis.
Results: One-hundred and thirty-nine subjects were eligible for examination. They comprised 53 males and 86 females (M/F=0.6:1) with a mean age of 36.8 +15.1 years (range 8 to 90 years.). Using WHO criteria for visual assessment, 15.0% of the subjects had low vision in the better eye, with a mean age of 56.3 +12.9 years, 11.6 % were blind, with a mean age of 76.3 + 15.3 years. Vision deteriorated with increasing age. Presbyopia was the commonest error of refraction occurring in 72.9% of the patients with a mean age of 51.9 +12.5 years. Glaucoma(19.4%) with a mean age of 55.1 + 20.8 years; Cataract (11.1%) mean age 65.5 +25.1years; allergic conjunctivitis (17.5%) , mean age 41.5 +21.4 years, and optic atrophy 5.6%, mean age 32.3 + 27.2 years respectively, were the most frequent ophthalmologic disorders encountered. Bilateral blindness was observed in 10(7.2%) of the subjects with cataract being the commonest cause, responsible for 40% of the blindness.
Conclusion: Visual impairment and blindness are common among subjects of the Ogbodo rural community of Rivers state. Presbyopia, Cataracts, glaucoma allergic conjunctivitis and optic atrophy were the commonest eye disorders and causes of visual impairment and blindness in the community. The need for Government to extend eye care service to rural communities as a way of reducing the prevalence of visual impairment and blindness in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.
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