Causes of Visual Impairment in

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  • Topic: Ophthalmology, Blindness, Visual impairment
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  • Published : December 13, 2010
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CAUSES OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT IN CENTRAL REGION OF GHANA

OVENSERI-OGBOMO, G O† KIO, F E‡ & MORNY, E K#

† OD Department of Optometry, University of Cape Coast, Ghana ‡ B.Sc, OD Department of Optometry, University of Benin, Nigeria # B. Sc Department of Optometry, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Ovenseri-Ogbomo, G O
Department of Optometry, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Email: oveseriogbomo@yahoo.com
Tel: +233 243 462 912.

ABSTRACT
Background Visual impairment imposes a significant burden on the individual, family and the society. Increasingly, cataract has been identified as the leading cause of blindness globally. No data on the causes of visual impairment in Central Region is available. Objectives The objective of the study is to examine the causes of visual impairment in Central Region of Ghana and to provide baseline information for planning eye care services in the region. Methods A retrospective study using hospital records of patients visiting three eye clinics between June 2005 and June 2006 were reviewed for the study. Results The records of 1,016 patients were reviewed. The study shows that cataract was the leading cause of blindness in Central Region accounting for 42.5%.This was followed by refractive error (29.2%) and glaucoma (7.2%). Conclusion Appropriate programs directed at providing cataract surgery and refractive error services will significantly reduce the burden of visual impairment in Central Region since both cataract and refractive errors are responsible for 71.7% of the causes of visual impairment. INTRODUCTION

Globally, visual impairment represents a significant public health problem. This is both from the point of view of the suffering it imposes on the individual, family as well as the government in terms of economic cost. Smith and Smith have estimated that the annual worldwide productivity cost of blindness was $168 billion1. Recently, it has been estimated that over $102 billion would be saved...
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