Vol 5 (2020): Continuous Publishing
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Prevalence of myopia and its socio-demographic distribution amongst secondary school going adolescents in Lurambi Sub-County, Kakamega, Kenya

Alfred Ragot1, Mustafa Baraza2, Peter Clarke-Farr3
Ophthalmol J 2020;5:64-70.


Background: Globally the prevalence of myopia has increased alarmingly and is expected to affect an estimated 2.56 billion people in the world by the end of 2020. It is believed to be the leading cause of visual impairment in Kenya, contributing 59.5% of all causes of visual impairment. Still, agreement on the exact prevalence in Kenya and whether socio-demographic factors have an influence on myopia is unknown. This study was aimed at evaluating the prevalence of myopia and its socio-demographic distribution amongst randomly selected school-going adolescent. This study was conducted in Lurambi Sub-County in Kakamega, Kenya. Material and methods: The study adopted a school-based cross-sectional descriptive study design. Using a multi-stage sampling technique, 733 participants from a population of 7,400 secondary school students within Lurambi Sub-County were randomly selected. A standard optometric vision-assessment protocol was applied to those who met the inclusion criteria and cycloplegic refraction was conducted to elicit those who had myopia. Results: The prevalence of myopia was found to be 7.5% of which 29 (52.7%) were male while 26 (47.3%) were female and there was no association between gender and myopia (p = 0.572). Myopia was found to be more prevalent in urban 49 (87.3%) as compared to rural 7 (12.7%) areas and there was no association between place of residences and myopia (p = 0.381). Similarly, 15–18 years was the dominant age group 39 (70.9%) and there was no association between age and having myopia (p = 0.926). The study also found that there was no association (p = 0.207) between school class of the participants and having myopia, although most myopic cases were in the form four class 15 (27.3%). Conclusion: Myopia was found to be mostly prevalent in the urban setting and upper classes as compared to rural and lower classes. This may link myopia to other risk factors such as near work and outdoor activities, but more research needs to be done in these areas. 

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