Screening for Eye Diseases & Refractive Errors in District Jail Inmates, Lahore
Background: Refractive errors and eye diseases are the main core issues in the jail inmates in Pakistan and especially in Punjab province but with best efforts the ophthalmic disorders can be controlled with the help of better screening process for refractive errors, presbyopia, low vision and the general ophthalmic disorders that are found among the jail inmates. The over burden of these ailments can be minimized following a comprehensive screening methods time to time using slandered guidelines approved by WHO.
Methodology: A plan was executed for basic necessary screening process to find out the ophthalmic diseases and vision problems. A team of ophthalmologist, optometrists and ophthalmic technicians visited inmates in the jail who presented with any eye problem in this 1-day screening. Auto refraction and manual retinoscopy was done. Visual cut off point was 6/12. Ophthalmic eye medication and glasses (spectacles) was provided free of cost.
Results: a total of 270 inmates were examined in the eye camp. The study showed prevalence of refractive errors 4% with a significant high ratio of presbyopia 34% as 79%of inmates were more than 40 year of age. Prevalence of other main eye disease was: conjunctivitis 3%, glaucoma 1% and cataract 2%.
Conclusions: There is an urgent need to look into matter of presence the eye diseases and refractive errors found among jail inmates as they fall in the category of marginalized community and the health care provided with ease has no provision the general eye health care. So it is an important issue to lodge a comprehensive effective initiative for the provision of that need mentioned above and a training program for the medical staff of jail hospitals to screen out this community for effective screening knowledge in Primary Eye care.