Pattern of corneal pathologies in children seen at Yaoundé Gynaeco-Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital, Cameroon
Assumpta L Bella,1,2 Viola A Dohvoma,1 André O Eballe,3 Oumarou Abdouramani2
1Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, 2Yaoundé Gynaeco-Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital, Yaoundé, 3Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon
Purpose: To describe the different corneal pathologies and determine the prevalence of corneal blindness amongst children aged 0–15 years, seen at the ophthalmology unit of a tertiary hospital in Cameroon.
Patients and methods: The medical records of all patients who presented to the Ophthalmic Unit between 2002 and 2010 were reviewed, retrospectively. The records of children aged 0–15 years, presenting with corneal pathologies, were further reviewed. Data collected included age, sex, past medical history, initial visual acuity, type of corneal lesion, and visual acuity at last follow-up.
Results: Of the 7,922 children seen over the study period, 168 had corneal pathologies: a prevalence of 2.1%. Males were more affected than females (male to female ratio: 1.4:1; P = 0.008). The age range was from 2 weeks to 15 years (mean age: 7.1 years; standard deviation: 4.4 years). The leading etiologies were trauma (48.2%; n = 81) and infection (28.0%; n = 47). Amongst those with available follow-up data, visual impairment and blindness occurred in 50% of the cases (n = 12), with one case being bilateral.
Conclusion: Trauma is the most frequent cause of corneal blindness in children.
Keywords: keratitis, ocular trauma, childhood blindness
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