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K M Waddell

Childhood blindness and low vision in Uganda

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Purpose: To examine the causes and outcome of subnormal vision starting in childhood in Uganda, to aid in planning for its avoidance and for rehabilitation.

Methods: All those seen having subnormal vision with onset from birth to 15 years (total 1135) (schools 1983-97; community 1988-97) were included in the study. Clinical examination was performed and a World Health Organisation (WHO) form completed, with analysis by its computer program. Main outcome measures were visual acuity, signs of eye pathology, outcome of treatment and refraction and low vision assessment.


Results: By WHO category 14.8% had visual impairment, 6.5% severe visual impairment, 63.2% were blind and 15.2% were too young to test. The acuities and causes were similar in school and community groups, excepting cortical visual impairment and multiple impairment, which are much commoner in the community. Cataract was the largest cause of visual impairment (30.7%) and surgical outcome was unsatisfactory. Visual loss following corneal ulceration was the second commonest cause of subnormal vision (22.0%).

Conclusions: Cataract and corneal damage cause half of all subnormal vision, which is avoidable for both. Cataract surgery needs to be upgraded. To prevent corneal visual loss, primary health care should continue to be expanded, especially measles immunisation and nutrition care; rubella immunisation should be added. Special education needs to be greatly expanded. Public perceptions need changing if results are to be improved and help offered to more than the present minority.


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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