n African Vision and Eye Health - Uncorrected refractive errors, presbyopia and spectacle coverage in Kamuli District, Uganda : original research

Volume 75 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2413-3183
  • E-ISSN: 2410-1516
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Successful refractive error programmes arise from evidence that can be collected cost effectively and timely.

To investigate the prevalence of uncorrected refractive error (URE), presbyopia and spectacle coverage in the Kamuli district, Uganda.
The study was conducted in the Kamuli district in Uganda.
The Rapid Assessment of Refractive Error (RARE) study design is a community-based cross-sectional study using multistage cluster random sampling to gather information on refractive errors and presbyopia. Subjects aged 15 years and older were selected from the population in Kamuli district in Uganda. Vision impairment due to URE at distance and near and barriers to uptake of refractive error services were investigated.
Participants, = 3281 (57.6% male), with an age range of 15-92 years were enumerated and the response rate was 100%. The prevalence of refractive errors was 4.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.7 - 5.5) and the spectacle coverage was 5.96% (95% CI 1.74% - 10.18%). The prevalence of uncorrected presbyopia was 50.3% (95% CI 47.6% - 53.0%) and the spectacle coverage was 0%. Thirty-three (or 1%) respondents were current spectacle users. One-hundred fourteen people (3.5%) had previously used spectacles; however, 50.9% of them discontinued spectacle use a year before the study because the spectacles were broken or scratched. The major barriers to spectacle uptake were accessibility of services and affordability of spectacles.
The prevalence of URE and the barriers to uptake of refractive services will inform the implementation of refractive services in the study area.

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