Epidemiology and trends in the uptake of refractive error services in Harare, Zimbabwe: a hospital-based retrospective study

Vimbainashe Evidence Kahoto1, Michael Agyemang Kwarteng1,2,5*, Bismark Owusu-Afriyie1, Ebenezer Zaabaar3, Samuel Kyei1,3,4

  1. Department of Optometry, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura, Zimbabwe
  2. Discipline of Optometry, College of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  3. Department of Optometry and Vision Science, School of Allied Health Sciences, College of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
  4. Biomedical and Clinical Research Center, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
  5. Optmentry Unit, Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

*Corresponding Author: Michael Agyemang Kwarteng; E-mail: kwartengmichaelagyemang@gmail.com


The study aimed to determine the epidemiology and evaluate the trends in the uptake of refractive error services in Harare.
A clinic-based retrospective study at the Greenwood Park Eye Centre and its three subsidiaries was conducted from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2020.
12,216 patients’ records were retrieved, out of which 1074 (8.79%) had refractive error cases. The prevalence of visual impairment at presentation was 5.80% [95% CI: 5.39 – 6.23]. Among those with refractive error, the sample prevalence of visual impairment before correction was 41.30% [CI: 38.3 – 44.3, 95%], and 2.20% [95% CI: 1.4 – 3.3] after correction. There was inconsistency in the percentage utilization of refractive error services, with the highest being 42.60% in 2015. Refractive error types were related to age, employment position, and type of visual impairment prior to refractive error treatment.
There was a low percentage of refractive error services uptake in urban Zimbabwe.

Keywords: refractive error, visual impairment, refractive services, Zimbabwe

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