Background Uncorrected refractive error is the major cause of visual impairment worldwide. There is no data on refractive error prevalence among school children in hilly region of Far West Nepal. Objective The prevalence of refractive error has been found to vary among children of different caste/ethnic groups and geographical regions. The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of refractive error among school children from different caste/ethnic groups in Dadeldhura district of Far West Nepal. Method This is a cross sectional study of refractive error among secondary school children from 2 schools in Dadeldhura district. All children underwent a vision screening consisting of visual acuity, ocular examination and refraction. Myopia was diagnosed for an eye with spherical equivalent refraction (SER) ≤ -0.5 D whereas an eye with SER ≥ +2.0 D was diagnosed as hyperopic. Ethnicity was reported through self administered questionnaire. Result Among children aged 12 to 16 years (14.07 ± 1.4) prevalence of myopia was 3.5%, hyperopia 0.33% and astigmatism 1%. All except three children had spherical equivalent refraction (SER) within ±2 D. Caste/ethnicity was not associated significantly with myopia in either eye (χ2 = 0.27, df= 2, p= 0.87). Conclusion The prevalence of refractive error among secondary school children in Dadeldhura district of Far West Nepal is very low in comparison to myopia prevalence reported in studies from other parts of the world, but slightly lower than myopia prevalence found in other, eastern parts of Nepal.
About The Expert
B P Pant