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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 15-20

Perception of primary school teachers on pupils’ eye health in the Ga West Municipality, Greater Accra Region, Ghana

1 Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Centre, Banjul, Gambia
2 Department of Surgery (Eye), University of Ghana Medical School, Korle-Bu, Ghana; Lions International Eye Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Korle-Bu, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Imoro Z Braimah
Department of Surgery (Eye), University of Ghana Medical School, Korle-Bu.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jwas.jwas_902_19

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Background: Eye health education is lacking in low- and middle-income countries due to limited availability of eye care personnel in the school setting. Teachers have been considered possible human resource for maintaining eye health in schoolchildren. Objective: The aim of this article is to determine the knowledge of teachers on the nature of eye problems among schoolchildren and their ability to recognize visual disorders. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional survey among primary school teachers in the Ga West Municipality. Cluster sampling was used to select 140 teachers from 12 public and private schools. A structured questionnaire was used in assessing teachers’ knowledge about the features of a healthy and diseased eyes, common causes of visual impairment (VI) and blindness, and recognizing and preventing eye problems in the children. Aggregate scores were computed for correct responses concerning healthy and diseased eyes, and scores were categorized into poor (0–25%), fair (26–50%), good (51–75%), and very good (76–100%) knowledge. Results: Eighty-six (61.4%) of the teachers were females. The mean age was 33 ± 9.1 years. Most teachers were found to have good knowledge about healthy and diseased eyes (75.0% and 60.0%). Hypermetropia, red eye, allergy, and cataract were cited by 50.0–57.9% as the most common causes of VI and blindness. Between 27.1% and 92.1% of teachers identified difficulties seeing the writing board, inability to concentrate in class, holding the book close to the eye to read, and squinting as ways of recognizing eye problems. Most respondents, 132 (94.3%), were of the view that teachers should be involved in screening schoolchildren for ocular morbidities. Conclusion: Teachers in the Ga West Municipality had good knowledge of the characteristics of healthy eyes and a fair knowledge of the causes of VI in primary schoolchildren. Teachers require further training if they are to serve as focal persons for vision screening and eye health education in primary schools.

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