Characteristics of the Nigerian Low Vision Population

Barbie, O. M. E.


There are no studies available to describe the epidemiology and causes of low vision in Nigeria and Africa. A retrospective record review was conducted of low vision patients seen at the 2-weeks-per-month low vision clinic carried out at ECWA Eye hospital, Kano, by the Low Vision Programme between the periods 1999 to 2004. Records of 1200 patients, age range, 4 month – 92 years seen within the period were reviewed. 70.3% were males, 11.3% were between age range 4 months-14 years; 73.2%, 15-65yrs; 12.8%; 65 yrs and above. The major causes of low vision are glaucoma, 19.8%; followed by aphakia/inoperable cataract 28.9% and maculopathy8.8%. The majority of the patients (34%)had their best-corrected Visual Acuity in the range of <6/18 – 6/60. 1515 optical aids were prescribed. 40.1% were refractive corrections, 36.4% magnifiers while 23.4% were telescopes. 88.3% of the patients seen were advised to cope with their education/employment. 7.6% were referred for Braille lessons. Information on characteristics of the Nigerian low vision population would help in policy formulation and funds allocation for low vision rehabilitation particularly in developing countries.

Keywords: Low vision, Magnifiers, Telescopes, Braille.

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