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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 148-151

Screening for retinopathy of prematurity by practicing paediatricians and ophthalmologists in Nigeria: A survey of attitude and experience

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
3 Department of Pediatrics, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Musbahu Sani Kurawa
Department of Ophthalmology, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njbcs.njbcs_26_18

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Background: We set out to determine whether routine screening of at risk babies for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is done by ophthalmologists in Nigeria and determine if paediatricians routinely refer at risk babies to ophthalmologists for ROP screening. The general attitude of paediatricians and ophthalmologists to screening of acute ROP was also investigated. Materials and Methods: Data were obtained using a structured self-administered questionnaire. This was administered separately to paediatricians and ophthalmologists attending their annual national conferences in the year 2015. Data obtained were analysed using the SPSS (version 16, SPSS Inc., Chicago, USA). Results: One hundred and nine respondents comprising 66 (60.55%) paediatricians and 43 (39.45%) ophthalmologists were involved. Nineteen (28.78%) paediatricians and 8 (18.60%) ophthalmologists were found to routinely refer or screen at risk babies for ROP. The absence of a screening protocol was the overall main reason given for not screening for ROP. Among ophthalmologists, perception that ROP was a rare disease was the major reason given. Despite this, a majority (81.65%) of all respondents advocated for the routine screening for ROP in Nigerian babies. Conclusion: There was a generally poor referral and screening of at risk babies for ROP among this group of Nigerian paediatricians and ophthalmologists. Apart from ophthalmic manpower improvement, the provision of a national protocol or local unit-specific protocols for ROP screening could help improve the situation.

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