Pediatric Ocular Injuries in a Resource-Deficient Rural Mission Eye Hospital in Southeastern Nigeria


Introduction. Pediatric ocular trauma is a significant worldwide problem of public health importance being a leading cause of non-congenital unilateral blindness. This study evaluated the proportion, type and causes of ocular injuries among children in a rural hospital of Nigeria. Methods. Children (<16 years) presenting with ocular trauma at the Eye clinic of the Presbyterian Joint Hospital, Ohaozara, Ebonyi state, Nigeria, between November 2011 and May 2012 were studied. Participant’s socio-demographics, type of trauma, cause of trauma, and occupation of parents were collected and analysed. Results. The Proportion of ocular injuries was 26.4%. Injuries were more common among males (P=.041) and children from lower social class (P=.026). Injuries occurred more frequently during farm work (59.4%) and play (21.9%). The most common causes of injury were stick (34.4%) and stones (21.8%). Conclusion. The proportion of ocular injuries among children at the rural hospital is high. Most causes are preventable.