To report parents’ awareness and perception of eye diseases in their children.
Thirty-five parents and 16 eye care practitioners either participated in in-depth interviews or focus group discussions. Data on parents’ awareness and perception were collected using interview guides with unstructured questions. Data were transcribed, familiarized, and coded, and themes were generated. Redundancy was considered as the end point of data collection.
The study results conveyed that parents were aware of common eye problems like refractive error, squint, and cataract, except for amblyopia, in their children. The causative factors for ocular diseases were not well understood by parents. The parents’ perception was that eye problems can be treated with food, such as eggs or carrots, and exercises. Most of the parents perceived squint as a sign of good luck and spectacle correction as a social stigma.
One of the prerequisites of health-seeking behavior is knowledge of disease and their symptoms, which seems to be lacking in parents of children. The findings of this study suggest that programs to increase awareness of the causative factors, spectacle wearing, and on the harmful effects of squint should be conducted.