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Primary prevention of eye injury in agriculture workers with safety eye-wear

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Session Details

Session Title: Orbis Free Paper session

Session Date/Time: Monday 15/09/2014 | 11:45-12:45

Paper Time: 12:21

Venue: Capital Suite 14 (Level 3)

First Author: : S.Chatterjee INDIA

Co Author(s): :    D. Agrawal   A. Sahu           

Abstract Details

Purpose:

Agricultural workers in developing countries are prone to eye injury. Such injuries if severe can lead to penetrating eye injuries and if trivial can lead to corneal abrasions. Corneal abrasions can get secondarily infected and cause corneal ulcers, bacterial or fungal, which is a significant cause of blindness in developing countries. We hypothesized that preventing such injuries in agricultural workers can reduce the incidence of not only penetrating ocular injuries but corneal abrasions and the resultant corneal ulceration and thus lead to reduction in blindness. This study reports the efficacy of safety eye wear in preventing eye injury in agriculture workers in India during farming and the acceptance of such an intervention amongst them.

Setting:

Three villages in Tilda block, Raipur district in the state of Chhattisgarh, India. MGM Eye Institute, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Methods:

A prospective randomized interventional study. After sample size calculation safety-eye wear in the form of clear plastic goggles with side covers was distributed to 575 agriculture-workers (Group A) prior to harvesting, and another 575 workers were selected as controls (Group B) through simple randomization. Safety-eye wear acceptance was promoted by one-to one meetings and group discussions by community health workers. Immediately after harvesting season, a survey was carried out in both the groups to enquire about eye injury event. Acceptance was measured qualitatively based on a questionnaire. The difference in frequency of injury in both the groups were measured with Fisher;s Exact test. P value less than 0.05 was considered to be significant.

Results:

553 (290 males, 263 females) subjects in the Group A and 540 (289 males, 251 females) subjects in Group B were available for the survey. The frequency of eye injury as reported by the workers in Group A was 4(0.73%) and in Group B was 61 (11.30%) and this difference was statistically significant (p< 0.0001, Fisher’s Exact test). 76% of subjects reported wearing safety eyewear most or all the time during work, 9% used it half the time, 13% used it some of the time and 2% did not use it at all. Clouding of vision, discomfort, slowing down work pace, breakages, forgetfulness, perception that it is non beneficial, appearance and no peer pressure were reasons elicited for poor acceptance or difficulties encountered during wear.

Conclusions:

This study reports that the use of safety-eye wear by agriculture workers significantly reduced the incidence of eye injuries during farm work. This primary intervention was well accepted by majority although there were certain issues in the design and usage of the safety-eye wear which needs to be addressed to make this measure of prevention gain a still wider acceptance.

Financial Interest:

NONE

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