Causes of severe visual impairment and blindness Bangladesh -A study of 1935 children.


Muhit, MA; Shah, SP; Gilbert, CE; Foster, A; (2007) Causes of severe visual impairment and blindness Bangladesh -A study of 1935 children. The British journal of ophthalmology, 91 (8). pp. 1000-4. ISSN 0007-1161 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bjo.2006.108019

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To identify the anatomical site and underlying aetiology of severe visual impairment and blindness (SVI/BL) in children in Bangladesh. DESIGN: A national case series. METHODS: Children were recruited from all 64 districts in Bangladesh through multiple sources. Causes were determined and categorised using standard World Health Organization methods. RESULTS: 1935 SVI/BL children were recruited. The median age was 132 months, and boys accounted for 63.1% of the sample. The main site of abnormality was lens (32.5%), mainly unoperated cataract, followed by corneal pathology (26.6%) and disorders of the whole eye (13.1%). Lens-related blindness was the leading cause in boys (37.0%) compared with corneal blindness in girls (29.8%). In 593 children, visual loss was due to childhood factors, over 75% being attributed to vitamin A deficiency. Overall 1338 children (69.2%) had avoidable causes. Only 2% of the country's estimated SVI/BL children have access to education and rehabilitation services. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first large-scale study of SVI/BL children in Bangladesh over two-thirds of whom had avoidable causes. Strategies for control are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: The International Centre for Evidence in Disability
International Centre for Eye Health
Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 17360736
Web of Science ID: 248090400005
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/10308

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