Article Text

Download PDFPDF

A prevalence survey of ophthalmic diseases among the Turkana tribe in north-west Kenya.
  1. R Loewenthal and
  2. J Pe'er
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.


    A prevalence survey of ophthalmic disease was conducted among the Turkana tribe in northwest Kenya. Altogether 900 people were examined in different sites of the semiarid and arid Turkana region. The findings show the prevalence of blindness to be 1.1% and the prevalence of blindness in one eye to be 6.8%. The major causes of blindness up to age 35 were corneal disease from xerophthalmia and trachoma and above age 45 cataract. Trauma was a major cause of monocular blindness. The prevalence of trachoma and its complications was 42.8% and the prevalence of cataract 5.2%. Cataract begins to form at an early age (25-35). The prevalence of xerophthalmia was 44%. These findings are similar to previously reported studies in Africa, especially in semiarid areas. The main remedy lies in improvement of education and the environment.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.