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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 78-83

Ocular health and safety assessment among mechanics of the Cape Coast Metropolis, Ghana


1 Department of Optometry, School of Physical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2 Department of Optometry, School of Physical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana; Discipline of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu.Natal, Westville Campus, Durban, South Africa
3 Discipline of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Durban, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Emmanuel Kwasi Abu
Department of Optometry, School of Physical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, UPO, Ghana
Ghana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2008-322X.158890

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Purpose: To conduct an ocular health and safety assessment among mechanics in the Cape Coast Metropolis, Ghana. Methods: This descriptive cross sectional study included 500 mechanics using multistage sampling. All participants filled a structured questionnaire on demographic data, occupational history and ocular health history. Study participants underwent determination of visual acuity (VA) using LogMAR chart, external eye examination with a handheld slit lamp biomicroscope, dilated fundus examination, applanation tonometry and refraction. Results: Out of 500 mechanics, 433 were examined (response rate, 87%) comprised of 408 (94.2%) male and 25 (5.8%) female subjects. The prevalence of visual impairment (i.e. presenting VA < 6/18) among the respondents was 2.1%. Eye injuries were reported in 171 (39.5%) mechanics probably due to the large number of workers, 314 (72.5%), who did not use eye protective devices. Mechanics in the auto welding category were at the highest risk of sustaining an eye injury (odds ratio [OR], 13.4; P < 0.001). Anterior segment ocular disorders were mostly pterygia while posterior segment eye disorders included glaucoma suspects and retinochoroidal lesions. The development of pterygia was associated with the number of years a mechanic stayed on the job. Eye care seeking behavior among the participants was poor. Conclusion: Eye injuries were prevalent among the mechanics as the use of eye protection was low. Eye safety should be made an integral part of the public health agenda in the Cape Coast Metropolis.


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