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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 190-193

Xerophthalmia in a Traditional Quran Boarding School in Sudan


1 Department of Paediatrics, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
2 Department of Research and Biostatistics, Sudan Medical and Scientific Research Institute, Khartoum, Sudan
3 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Abdelmoneim E. M. Kheir
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, P.O. Box 102, Khartoum
Sudan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.95247

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Purpose: To determine the prevalence of xerophthalmia at a traditional boarding school where children do not receive a diet adequate in vitamin A. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 406 males residing in a Quranic traditional school was conducted using the World Health Organization xerophthalmia checklist. The association between the prevalence of night blindness and proportion of students staying at the school for 6 consecutive months and those eating solely at the school was investigated. The difference in age between children with night blindness and those without was investigated. Statistical significance was indicated by P<0.05. Results: The prevalence of night blindness, conjunctival xerosis and Bitot's spots was 24%, 12.5% and 1%, respectively. None of the boys had corneal ulceration, corneal scars and corneal xerosis. No significant association was observed between the differences in mean age and development of night blindness (P=0.657). There was a significant association between the duration of stay (cut-off of 6 months continuously) at the institute and the development of night blindness (P=0.023). There was no statistical significance between regularly eating at the "maseed" and outside the "maseed" and the development of night blindness (P=0.75). Conclusion: Children residing at a traditional school are vulnerable to developing xerophthalmia where the diet is inadequate in vitamin A. Institutional caregivers should be made aware of the importance of providing a balanced diet rich in vitamin A. Institutional caregivers should also be educated on the signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency for early detection of xerophthalmia.


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