The Prevalence of Visual Acuity Impairment among Children in Nigeria – A Systematic Review
Nasiru S. Kangiwa, Basiru Shuaibu, Buhari Aliyu, Isiyaku M. Gwarzo, , Kabiru A. Ladan, Shahzad Ahmad, Kamaldeen O. Sanusi, Kasimu G. Ibrahim1,, Murtala B. Abubakar
Background: Blindness is a major health problem, and there is an increasing trend of visual acuity impairment among children in developing countries. Vision loss in childhood has serious implications in all stages of a child's growth and development. It poses social, educational and occupational challenges, with affected children being at greater risk of developing behavioural, psychological and emotional problems, lower self-esteem and poorer social integration. The study aimed to assess the prevalence of visual impairment among children in Nigeria. Method: A systematic review of papers published on the prevalence of visual acuity impairment among children in the country was carried out. We covered works published in Google Scholar, PubMed, ResearchGate, ScienceDirect, and African Journals Online. Primary search terms included the combination of the following keywords; “prevalence”, “visual acuity”, “visual impairment”, “children”, “Nigeria”. The database search for published articles was done without date restriction till 1st December 2021. The review was restricted to primary research published in English and peer-reviewed journals. Results: Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria out of the 56 studies reviewed. In Nigeria, the prevalence of visual acuity impairments ranged from 1.7% to 26.1%. Conclusion: The prevalence of visual acuity impairment among children in Nigeria is in epidemic proportions. There is a need to pay attention to proper health education; early detection and appropriate management of impaired vision to fight against this health disorder.