oa South African Medical Journal - Blindness in the Bantu : a survey of external eye disease and malnutrition in the North Eastern Transvaal

Volume 27, Issue 29
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



1. Much blindness in the Bantu results from corneal lesions for which there are 2 main causes. The first of these is trachoma, an infective disease: and the second is leucoma of which the principal cause is bacterial conjunctivitis. 2. Trachoma alone was responsible for a blind rate of 781 per 100,000. On a previous survey a blind rate of 1,190 per 100,000 was found from leucoma alone. The blind rate for Europeans in South Africa is 91 per 100,000 (all causes). 3. Poleff's stain for trachoma inclusion bodies gave unsatisfactory results. In our experience the basophil mast cells are clearly defined by this method but the true Halberstaedter-Prowazek bodies remain unstained.

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