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Purpose: To determine the need for refractive correction, unmet need and met need for refractive correction among secondary school children of district Attock, Pakistan.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out at four secondary schools in the district of Attock. Two schools were chosen from urban area including one boy’s school and one girl’s school, similarly two schools were chosen from rural area. Visual acuity (VA) was assessed by using Snellen visual acuity chart at the distance of 6 meters. Need for refractive correction was defined as uncorrected VA of ≤ 6/12 at least in one eye which can improve with pinhole. A measure of met need was defined as the percentage of children who were previously refracted and wearing glasses. The unmet need was defined as the percentage of children who require refractive correction but had never got refractive glasses.
Results: Vision screening of 1741 students with age range 11-16 years was carried out. Among the total screened children the need for refractive correction was determined to be 15.68%, of which 11.66% was estimated as unmet need and just 4.02% was estimated as met need. The need for refractive correction among boys was found as 14.09% while it was estimated as 17.04 % among girls. According to estimates, there was 16.11% need for refractive correction in urban area, of which 11.18% was unmet needs and 4.92% was met need. In Rural area the need for refractive correction was found 15.01% out of this 12.39% was calculated as unmet need and 2.62% was calculated as met need.
Conclusion: Unmet need was found higher and risk factors for unmet need includes accessibility and affordability issues along with rural residence. This unmet need could be addressed by ensuring that reasonably priced refractive and dispensing services are available locally.