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Prevalence of blindness in children
  1. Julie Mary Crewe1,
  2. Nigel Morlet1,
  3. Geoff Lam2,
  4. James Bernard Semmens1
  1. 1Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Julie Mary Crewe, Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia; j.crewe{at}

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Childhood blindness carries a high financial cost for the community as well as a high individual cost impacting normal motor, language and social development of the child. These factors are all compounded when the child enters the education system and adulthood. There are very little accurate data available on the prevalence of blindness in children.

We have recently published the results of a capture and recapture estimate of the total blind population in Western Australia.1 This estimate was derived from three independent lists of legally blind people and is a well-validated method for the accurate determination of population sizes.2 Here, we add additional analysis of a subset of data on the children contained within the original capture and recapture lists to provide an estimate of the prevalence of blindness in those aged less than 18 years.

Blind children were identified either from the voluntary register of the Association for the Blind of Western Australia (list …

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  • Contributors The following are members of EVER (Eye and Vision Epidemiology Research) group: JC (project coordinator), JS (chief investigator), NM and GL (consultant ophthalmologists). JC carried out data collection for the trial, performed statistical analysis, cleaned and analysed the data, and drafted and revised the paper. She is the guarantor. NM initiated the collaborative project, provided conception of study design, analysed the data, and drafted and revised the paper. GL critically reviewed the data and manuscript, providing significant intellectual and critical comments. JS critically reviewed the manuscript and provided approval of the final manuscript for submission for publication.

  • Funding This project was generously supported by an unconditional grant from The Eye Surgery Foundation, Perth, Western Australia.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.