Original Research

Knowledge and practices of parents about child eye health care in the public sector in Swaziland

Velibanti N. Sukati, Vannesa R. Moodley, Khathutshelo P. Mashige
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1808 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v10i1.1808 | © 2018 Veli Sukati | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 April 2018 | Published: 07 November 2018

About the author(s)

Velibanti N. Sukati, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Vannesa R. Moodley, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Khathutshelo P. Mashige, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Swaziland, like many other developing countries, lacks appropriate eye health services, particularly for children.

Aim: To determine the knowledge and practices of parents about child eye health care in the public sector in Swaziland.

Setting: The setting for this study was Swaziland.

Methods: A descriptive study involving cross-sectional sampling methodology and quantitative analysis was employed with 173 randomly selected parents whose children attended public schools in Swaziland.

Results: Out of 173 participants, 104 (60.1%) parents reported that they have never taken their children for an eye test and 69 (31.7%) felt that their children’s vision was fine. Ninety-seven (53.1%) parents indicated having no knowledge about child eye conditions and no significant association was found between level of education and knowledge of eye conditions affecting children (p = 0.112). Having an immediate family member who wore spectacles increased the likelihood of a child being taken for eye testing (p = 0.001), but decreased the likelihood of being well informed about eye health (p = 0.218). Of those parents who reported taking their children for eye tests, 34 (49.3%) reported that they were given eye drops and 31 (44.9%) stated that their children were prescribed spectacles. Eighty-seven (50.3%) parents accepted the idea of their children wearing spectacles.

Conclusion: The findings of the study suggest the need for parents to be informed about basic child eye health care and the importance of their children having regular eye examinations.


Keywords

Swaziland; children; accessibility; parents; public health sector

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