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Erin Elizabeth Nichols, Jean William Pape, Sadrac Marcélus, Janet Nicotera, Amy Chomsky; Eye examination findings in a cohort of School children in Haiti. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2407.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Its population is approximately 10 million, with 55% of its population under the age of 25. Access to healthcare is limited with physician density most recently estimated at 0.25 per 1000 residents. Though precise statistics are unavailable, it stands to reason that access to ophthalmologists is a formidable challenge, contributing to uncorrected or permanent visual impairment. Furthermore, pediatric presentations of vision-limiting/threatening conditions are often subtle. There is little data available regarding the presence of ocular diseases in the Haitian population and none documenting the prevalence of ophthalmic conditions in children and adolescents.
We conducted a de-identified, retrospective analysis of screening eye exams in a cohort of at the GHESKIO Ophthalmology Clinic, Port-au-Prince, Haiti between February 2013 and February 2014.
There were a total of 257 children, adolescents and young adults ranging from 5 months to 21 years of age receiving eye care The mean age of this patient cohort was 6.65 years old with 57% male and 43% female. 52% of patients had no significant ophthalmologic findings upon exam. In the remaining children patients , the significant diagnoses included allergic conjunctivitis (35.8%), glaucoma suspect (6.6%), refractive error (3.5%), suspected vitamin A deficiency (1.2%) and strabismus (0.4%). Of glaucoma suspects, the average age was 6.1 years old and approximately 59% were female. The average cup-to-disc ratio was 0.55 and the average intraocular pressure as determined by tonopen was 19. Amongst patients with refractive error, approximately 2/3rds were hyperopic (average sphere: +1.78 dilated) and 1/3rd were myopic (average sphere: -4.79).
These results shed light on the prevalence of vision/function-limiting ophthalmic conditions amongst Haitian children and young adults, equipping community physicians and visiting physicians with the knowledge to better screen for, prevent and address eye diseases amongst Haiti’s youth population.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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