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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 114-117

Screening of Vision and Hearing in Primary School Children

1 Department of Paediatric Medicine, Hospital of Southern Jutland, Sonderborg, Denmark
2 The Research Unit for Section of General Practice, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
Martin Lehmann Boesen
Arnkilgade 34 1.th, DK 6400, Sonderborg
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.104979

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Background: Hearing and sight are two basic senses in terms of education and profession. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15 million children worldwide suffer from uncorrected refractive disorders and another 275 million people are handicapped due to compromised hearing. In Indonesia, screening primary school children for hearing and vision is not part of the free public health-care system. Knowledge of the status of a child's hearing and vision may help secure the child's education and future profession. Materials and Methods: In five primary schools in a poor urban neighborhood in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, we screened pupils from class 1 to 6, for vision and hearing handicaps, following the WHO's definitions of handicap. On location in the primary schools, we screened vision using a Snellen chart and hearing using distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE). Those with vision below 6/18 were referred to an ophthalmologist and pupils with hearing below 30 decibels at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kilohertz were referred to an ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist for final testing. Results: Totally, 775 pupils were vision screened and 777 pupils were hearing screened. We found that 2% were disabled by sight and 6% by hearing. Conclusion: Lost without proper education, these pupils can, with simple recommendations, have access to education. We recommend that Indonesia start screening its primary school pupils for hearing and vision to secure the country's future productivity and socioeconomic development.

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