STATUS OF CHILDREN IN BLIND SCHOOLS IN THE NORTHERN AREAS OF PAKISTAN

Authors

  • Hasan Sajid Kazmi
  • Ashfaq Ali Shah
  • Abdul Aziz Awan
  • Jaffar Khan
  • Noman Siddiqui

Abstract

Background: Prevalence of blindness in Pakistan is estimated to be 0.9%, which comes to about1.25 million persons. A significant number of these are persons under 20 years of age. To makethese children useful citizens in future, special facilities are to be provided to these children fortheir education and training. A study was done to find out the visual status of the students studyingin a blind school in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the only such facility in the region. Method: A total of50 patients were examined during our visit to the blind school in Abbottabad. Age of the patientsranged from 6 to 27 years (mean: 12.32 years). All the students, who were otherwise healthy, wereincluded in the study. Result: The most common disorder identified was malformed globe ortraumatic eyes (16 cases, 32%), in most of the cases, leading to phthisis bulbi. Other conditionsnoticed were Retinitis Pigmentosa (10 cases, 20%), Keratoconus, Optic atrophy, Buphthalmos (6cases each, 12%), corneal opacity (4 cases, 8%) and retinal detachment (2 cases 4%). Conclusion:We should work towards betterment of these schools by providing them with more funds,equipment and manpower. Regular visits of Ophthalmologists to these schools may be helpful.Genetic counselling should be arranged for the families.Key words: Blindness; Children; Cause; School.

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