Ocular morbidity among children attending government and private schools of Kathmandu valley.
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INTRODUCTION: Children from the developing world are more prone to going blind from avoidable and preventable causes. In Nepal, children in private schools are reported to have a higher ocular morbidity than those in government schools, with myopia being the major cause of the morbidity. This study was designed to evaluate ocular morbidity in students from both types of school. METHOD: This was a cross-sectional, comparative study among students from government and private schools of Kathmandu. Eye examination was carried out evaluating visual acuity, color vision, refractive status, binocular vision status, and anterior and posterior segment findings. RESULTS: A total of 4,228 students from government and private schools were evaluated. The prevalence of ocular morbidity was 19.56 % with refractive error (11.9 %) being the major cause of the morbidity, followed by strabismus and infective disorders. No significant difference in the prevalence of ocular morbidity and refractive status was found in the students from government and private schools. CONCLUSION: A significant number of children of school-going age have ocular morbidity with no significant difference in the prevalence in the students from government and private schools. Research exploring the effect of various risk factors in the progression of myopia would be helpful to investigate the refractive status in children from these different types of schools.
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