Prevalence of visual impairment due to refractive error among children and adolescents in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 18;17(8):e0271313. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271313. eCollection 2022.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Globally, the prevalence of refractive error was 12%, and visual impairment due to refractive error was 2.1%. In sub-Saharan Africa, the prevalence of refractive error and visual impairment due to refractive error was 12.6% and 3.4%, respectively. In Ethiopia, the prevalence of visual impairment due to refractive error varies from 2.5% in the Gurage zone to 12.3% in Hawassa city. Hence, this Meta-analysis aimed to summarize the pooled prevalence of visual impairment due to refractive error in Ethiopia.

METHODS: A systematic search of the literature was conducted by the authors to identify all relevant primary studies. All articles on the prevalence of visual impairment due to refractive error in Ethiopia were identified through a literature search. The databases used to search for studies were PubMed, Science Direct, POPLINE, HENARI, Google Scholar, and grey literature was searched on Google until December 15, 2021. In this meta-analysis, the presence of publication bias was evaluated using funnel plots and Begg’s tests at a significance level of less than 0.05. The sensitivity analysis was conducted to check for a single study’s effect on the overall prevalence of refractive error.

RESULT: About 1664 studies were retrieved from initial electronic searches using international databases and google searches. A total number of 20,088 children and adolescents were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of visual impairment due to refractive error in Ethiopia using the random effects model was estimated to be 6% (95% CI, 5-7) with a significant level of heterogeneity (I2 = 94.4%; p < 0.001). The pooled prevalence of visual impairment due to refractive was analyzed by subtypes, and pooled prevalence was estimated to be 4%, 5.2%, and 1% for myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The pooled prevalence of visual impairment due to refractive error was high in Ethiopia. About one in twenty-five Ethiopian children and adolescents are affected by visual impairment due to myopia.

PMID:35980970 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0271313

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