Childhood blindness from corneal ulceration in Africa: causes, prevention, and treatment

Bull World Health Organ. 1986;64(5):619-23.


Corneal scarring is responsible for approximately 70% of blindness in children in African countries. Recent studies confirm that measles infection is a common predisposing factor and that vitamin A deficiency is responsible for the majority of bilateral corneal ulceration. Herpes simplex keratitis (caused by human (alpha) herpesvirus types 1 and 2), ophthalmia neonatorum, and the use of traditional eye medicines also constitute significant causes of corneal ulceration in children in Africa. Intervention strategies, the management of corneal ulceration in children, and areas for future investigation are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Blindness / etiology*
  • Blindness / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Corneal Ulcer / complications*
  • Corneal Ulcer / prevention & control
  • Corneal Ulcer / therapy
  • Humans