COECSA, Journal, Ophthalmology
Refractive errors among school children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Refractive Errors
Visual impairment
School children

How to Cite

Nebiyat K, Alemayehu W, Tigist SW. (2023). Refractive errors among school children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Journal of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, 15(01). Retrieved from


Objective: To determine the prevalence of refractive errors among school children aged 6-18 years in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Methods: A cross sectional study of refractive errors examined 1800 students in four randomly selected elementary schools during March, 2014. Subjects were selected by multistage random sampling. The children were examined by a team of ophthalmic nurses, optometrists and an ophthalmologist who performed visual acuity testing, cycloplegic refraction and slit lamp examination. Visual impairment was defined as V/A < 6/12.

Results: A total of 1800 (695 boys and 1105 girls) students were included in the study with a response rate of 99.4%. Refractive errors in either eye were 71 (4.0%) (95% CI 3.9-4.0). Of these myopia < 1.oD was found to be higher 19 (26.7%) cases followed by astigmatism >+ − 1.5D in 12 (17%) cases. Being female and the presence of other eye diseases increases the odds of refractive error.

Conclusion and recommendation: The prevalence of refractive errors in school children is significant in Addis Ababa, highlighting the need for school screening and optical intervention programs.

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