Status of visual impairment among indigenous (Orang Asli) school children in Malaysia

Rokiah Omar, Wan Mohd Hafidz Wan Abdul, Victor Feizal Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: School children are considered a high-risk group for visual impairment because uncorrected refractive errors and problems such as amblyopia can seriously affect their learning abilities and their physical and mental development. There are many studies reporting the prevalence of refractive errors among school children of different ethnic groups in Malaysia, however, studies concerning the prevalence of refractive errors among indigenous or Orang Asli children are very limited. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and causes of visual impairment among Orang Asli children. Methods: One hundred ten Orang Asli children aged 7 to 12 years old in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia were selected. 51% of these children were boys while the remainders were girls. They underwent visual acuity test, cover test, Hirschberg's test, ocular external assessment and ophthalmoscopy. Children who failed the vision screening were then referred for further eye examination. Results: Of these 110 Orang Asli children, 46 failed the vision screening and subsequently 45 of them were confirmed to have visual problems (40.9% of the total subjects). The main cause of visual impairment in this study was refractive error (34.5% of the total subjects) where the main refractive error found was hyperopia (28.2%) followed by amblyopia (2.7%), strabismus (1.8%) and ocular abnormalities (1.8%). Conclusion: Hence, vision screening and a comprehensive eye examination is very important and needs to be done on all Orang Asli children so that any visual problems can be detect at an early stage to avoid the development of learning difficulties among these already disadvantaged children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number543
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2019

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Malaysia
Vision Disorders
Refractive Errors
Vision Screening
Amblyopia
Cross-Sectional Studies
Eye Abnormalities
Learning
Hyperopia
Ophthalmoscopy
Aptitude
Strabismus
Vulnerable Populations
Ethnic Groups
Visual Acuity

Keywords

  • Hyperopia
  • Near work
  • Orang Asli
  • School children
  • Vision screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Status of visual impairment among indigenous (Orang Asli) school children in Malaysia. / Omar, Rokiah; Wan Abdul, Wan Mohd Hafidz; Knight, Victor Feizal.

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 19, 543, 13.06.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Omar, Rokiah ; Wan Abdul, Wan Mohd Hafidz ; Knight, Victor Feizal. / Status of visual impairment among indigenous (Orang Asli) school children in Malaysia. In: BMC Public Health. 2019 ; Vol. 19.
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