A cross sectional study to assess prevalence and pattern of ocular morbidity among pre-school children attending anganwadi centres of Hubballi taluk in South India

Maneesha Godbole, N. P. Kavya, Manjunath S. Nekar, D. D. Bant


Background: About 30% of blind population of India loses their eyesight before the age of 20 years and many of them are under 5 when they become blind. Childhood blindness will have serious impact on development, education and quality of life. Therefore it is essential that ocular morbidity is detected and treated at an early stage.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 120 children aged 3-5 years attending 6 anganwadi centres of Hubballi taluk which were selected by stratified random sampling. Data was collected using pretested semi-structured questionnaire. Ocular examination was conducted to identify ocular morbidity. Test for visual acuity, colour blindness and refractive status was done using lea chart, ischihara charts and plusoptix mobile vision screener respectively. Nutrition status was assessed by clinical examination and anthropometry. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS package.

Results: Out of 120 children 51.7% were male. Majority, 63.3% were residing in urban area and 40% belonged to class IV of modified B G Prasad classification of socio-economic status scale. The prevalence of ocular morbidity was found to be 20%. 15.8% of children had refractive error, 2.5% had vitamin A deficiency and 1.7% had squint. No statistically significant association was found between ocular morbidity and any risk factors.

Conclusions: Refractive error was found to be the most common ocular morbidity among pre-school children. This if detected early can be corrected. Therefore it is important to screen for refractive error at the preschool age itself and to create awareness among parents and anganwadi teachers regarding common ocular symptoms.


Preschool children, Ocular morbidity, Anganwadi

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