Pattern of ocular morbidity in school children and its association with academic achievement

Gulfam Ahmed Hashmi, Najam Khalique, Abadan K. Amitava


Background: Ocular morbidity describes any eye disease regardless of resultant visual loss. India is plagued by ocular morbidities in school going children. Refractive error is considered to be the major cause of visual impairment. The objectives of the present study were to compare the pattern of ocular morbidity in urban and rural school children, to study the association of academic achievement with ocular morbidity in study population and to suggest appropriate recommendations for addressing the problem of ocular morbidity in school children.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in the 9 primary and 5 junior high schools of field practice areas of Rural Health Training Centre and Urban Health Training Centre respectively, under Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh from September 2005 to August 2006.

Results: Prevalence of ocular morbidity in the present study was 23.3%. Maximum prevalence of 28.7% of ocular morbidity was seen in the age group of 14-16 years. Prevalence of ocular morbidity was found to be 100 (51.6%) in males and 64 (40.1%) in females. 29.3% of the 164 school children having ocular morbidity showed poor academic achievement compared to 18.7% of the 541 children not having ocular morbidity and the association was found to be statistically significant.

Conclusions: Refractive error was one of the major causes of ocular morbidity among school going children but most of them were of mild degree. Ocular morbidity was found to affect the academic achievement of school going children.


Ocular morbidity, School children, Refractive errors

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