Programm                 "Degeneration und Regeneration– Grundlagen, Diagnostik und Therapie"

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International Partnerships from an African Point of View

Makwanga M.

Purpose: This study was carried out from April to June 2002 with the purpose to determine the causes of childhood blindness in Kinshasa, with a view to develop services and plan interventions.
Method: One hundred and sixty three blind children aged 0 to 15 years were recruited by CBR workers in 3 blind schools and the community and examined by the author. Standard methodology and modified recording form recommended by WHO/PBL programme including blinding condition observed was used.
Results: Of these 163 children, 28.2% were aged 0 to 4 years and 71.8% 5 to 15 years. Sex ratio was 1.3 in favour of male. The majority of children came from the community (79.8%) versus 20.2% from the blind schools. Family history was not present in 82.8% and consanguinity history absents in 90.8%. Age of onset of visual loss was less than 1 year in 69.3% and more than 1year in 30.7%. The majority of children had a vision in the best eye less than 3/60 to PL in 73%, no light perception in 26.4% and believed blind in 6%. Functional vision was only present in 37.4%. Additional disabilities were present in`32.5%.
The blinding conditions were cataract (30.7%), rubella (10.4%), glaucoma (8%), meningitis (6.7%), measles (5.5%), retinal dystrophy (4.9%), cerebral hypoxia (4.3%), toxoplasmosis, ophthalmia neonatorum and trauma (0.6%) each, other (19%) in which malaria (4.2%), anophtalmos (2.4%), transfusion (1.8 %), retinoblastoma (1.2%), quinine intoxication and sickle cell enema embolus (0.6%) each. Unknown

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