Dr. Shantanu Bhattacharjee,
BACKGROUND School eye screening children is useful in detecting correctable causes of defective vision, especially refractive errors (myopia) and minimizing long-term visual disability. Ocular disorders such as refractive errors, allergic conjunctivitis, vitamin A deficiency and blepharitis are common entities in school going children in rural and urban population of Bardhhaman district (WB).Our school eye health survey was implemented with the aim of prevention of blindness by early detection and treatment of eye health problems. Prevalence of refractive error (myopia) rises from ages 6-16 years. Children do not complain of defective vision and may not even be aware of their problem. They adjust to the poor eyesight by sitting near the blackboard in school, holding the books closer to their eyes, squeezing the eyes frequently. This warrants early detection and treatment to prevent permanent impairment. MATERIALS AND METHODS In our study, four government schools and four private schools were selected randomly with proportionate representation from each category of schools. The study was conducted among the school going children in 6-16 years age group of Durgapur, Bardhhaman district of West Bengal state from July 2016 to January 2018. Total 3534 students were examined from rural and urban schools of the district. The study was carried out through oral questionnaire using pre-designed and pretested Performa followed by ocular examination with the help of torch light, binocular loop and direct ophthalmoscope. RESULTS Overall prevalence of ocular morbidity was found to be 28.2%, among them refractive errors were 47.1%, allergic conjunctivitis 30.3% and vitamin A deficiency 9.9% constituted the major causes of ocular morbidity.