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Nguyen, Huu Le. Visual impairment in leprosy patients in northern Viet Nam.CE HJ, 20 (61), 12, 2007.

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Article

Causes of Low Vision and Blindness in a Leprousarum in Kano State, Nigeria

1Department of Optometry Bayero University Kano / Department of Ophthalmology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

2Department of Optometry, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria


American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine. 2019, Vol. 7 No. 1, 21-25
DOI: 10.12691/ajmsm-7-1-5
Copyright © 2019 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Okpo Eme, Nwakuche P. Ikechukwu, Ejukunemu Barbie O.M.. Causes of Low Vision and Blindness in a Leprousarum in Kano State, Nigeria. American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine. 2019; 7(1):21-25. doi: 10.12691/ajmsm-7-1-5.

Correspondence to: Okpo  Eme, Department of Optometry Bayero University Kano / Department of Ophthalmology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria. Email: doctorokpo@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract

Low vision includes moderate visual impairment and severe visual impairment based on presenting distance Visual Acuity (VA). Leprosy is a chronic granulomatous disease caused by the Bacillus Mycobacterium leprae. Individuals with visual impairment and blindness due to ocular leprosy; form a severely disadvantaged group because of other disabilities due to the disease, its social stigma and delay in receiving appropriate eye care. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the causes of Low Vision and Blindness in a Leprosarium in Kano State, Nigeria. This study was a Cross sectional descriptive study conducted over a period of six month on 109 Low Vision and Blind patients aged 14 years and above. Ocular examinations of the external and internal structures of the patients were performed. Visual acuity was measured using the logMAR E chart. Of the 109 participants, 51 (46.8%) were females and the mean age was 46.8 ±18. The main causes of low vision and blindness are Cataract (47.0%), leprosy related corneal opacity (45%) and chronic uveitis (28%). Madarosis was the most common ocular lesion in my study accounting for 68.8% of the cases followed by lagophthalmos which occurred in 43.1% of the cases. The relationship between types of leprosy and causes of low vision and blindness (Chi = 3.488; df =6; p = 0.74557) was not Significant (P > 0.05). The low vision and blindness suffered by leprous patients is an additional health burden often overlooked by health service providers. Ocular complications are common and sight threatening in leprosy patients. There is a need for better collaboration between leprosy control and blindness prevention programmes.

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