Ocular health survey among staff of benue state university teaching hospital, Nigeria
AbstractBackground: In developing countries, especially in Africa, most people with blinding eye conditions are not aware of their state and present with advanced disease. Objective: The main objective of the study was to determine common eye conditions and reasons for not seeking eye-care services among a teaching hospital staff. Materials and Methods: On World Sight Day 2012 staff of Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) were invited to the eye clinic for the examination of their eyes. A questionnaire was filled for each and eyes examined and findings were analyzed. Results: There were 76 (48.1%) males and 82 (51.9%) females. The median age was 36.5 (range 19 to 65) years. The perceived cause of visual impairment (VI) and blindness was not significantly related to the level of education (P = 0.239). Reasons for not seeking eye-care services even when they had eye problems included finances 22 (13.9%), distance from eye-care center 4 (2.5%), lack of awareness 2 (1.3%), job situation 1 (0.6%) and fear 3 (1.9%). Of the 158 participants 30 (19%) had a close relative who had visual impairment (VI) or was blind. Most of the participants 151 (95.6%) had normal bilateral presenting visual acuity, 2 (1.3%) mild visual impairment and 5 (3.2%) moderate VI.The commonest ocular disorder was refractive error 39 (48.8%), followed by allergic conjunctivitis 14 (17.5%).Glaucoma 5 (6.3%) was the second potentially blinding ocular disorder, with 4 presenting with advanced disease. Cataract was seen in 4 (5.0%) and posterior segment disease in 2 (2.5%) participants. Conclusion: This study has shown that there is a lot of ignorance concerning causes of blindness and visual impairment among this group. There is therefore a need for awareness creation and eye health education and screening programs to detect ocular disorders.