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Cahiers d'études et de recherches francophones / Santé

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Ocular traumatism in children at Laquintinie Hospital, Douala Volume 10, issue 3, Mai - Juin 2000

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Authors
Département d’ophtalmologie, ORL-stomatologie, Faculté de médecine et des sciences biomédicales, Université de Yaoundé-I, Cameroun.
  • Page(s) : 173-6
  • Published in: 2000

Pediatric ophthalmology is poorly developed in Cameroon. However, efforts are being made to collect data essential for the development of national strategies to combat blindness. We relate our experience, within this framework, at a large public hospital in Cameroon. We carried out a retrospective study covering the period from June 1993 to May 1998, studying the medical files of children under the age of 15 years with ocular traumatism. Data were collected from 144 files. The frequency of ocular/orbital injury was 7.8% and was the third most common condition, after ametropia and kerato-conjunctivitis, in this population. The mean age of the children was 7 years and 3 months and more boys (64%) than girls were affected. Ocular lesions were due to contusion in 83.3% of cases. The principal causes of the trauma were children’s games (40.2%), and punishment by parents or teachers (23.7%). The ocular lesions were similar to those described in previous studies. Infection was rare, because the interval from trauma to consultation was very short. The functional prognosis was severe, with 24.3% of patients having final vision less than 1/10. We recommend that children should be informed about the dangers of violent games and that parents and teachers should be made aware of the dangers associated with brutality towards children. Finally, ophthalmologists should ensure that the injured eye is treated rapidly and carefully so as to minimize functional sequelae.