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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 113-116

Pattern of eye diseases presents at free outreach in rural community in the Northwestern Nigeria

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Center, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Kehinde Fasasi Monsudi
Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Center, PMB 1126, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi
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DOI: 10.4103/1858-5000.171862

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Background: The lower socioeconomic status and long distance to eye care facility of the rural dwellers in many communities in developing countries accounts for the increase in the number of preventable and avoidable causes of blindness compare to developed countries of the world. It is widely believed that the best option to reduce blindness and visual impairment in these communities is to bring eye care services to their doorsteps in the form of outreach programs this has been practiced successfully in India and other Asian countries. Aims: To assess the pattern of eye diseases presenting at a free eye outreach in a rural community of Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was carried out on the findings of 3-day outreach programs at Zuru General Hospital, in Zuru Emirate of Kebbi State, Northwestern Nigeria. The following information was extracted from patient's folders: sociodemographics, diagnosis, treatment offered the patient, and distance of the patient house to the eye outreach center. The data were analyzed by SPSS version 18 (2006 Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, Chicago, Illinois, USA). Results: There were 458 patients seen at the outreach of which 197 (43%) were males and 261 (57%) were females. More than half of the patients 236 (52%) were 50 years and above, followed by age group of 34–50 years 99 (21.6%). The majority of the patients 128 (27.9%) were homemakers, followed by civil servants 125 (27.2%), and farmers 112 (24.5%). Most of the patients 188 (41%) covered a distance of 3–5 km before reaching the outreach center. The predominant ocular diseases seen were cataract 148 (32.3%), glaucoma 84 (18.3%), and refractive error 82 (17.9%). Conclusion: There were more females seen at our free eye outreach and majority of participants were 50 years and above. Cataract, glaucoma, and refractive error were the main reasons why patients presented at the outreach center. Efforts at improving the ocular health of this community should be focused on reducing the burden of cataract, glaucoma, and refractive error.

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