PURPOSE: To estabilish the prevalence of the ametropias and eye diseases, in the year 2001, within a preschool and school population in Alto da Boa Vista favelas (slum), in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. METHODS: Transversal observational study during an ocular health campaign in public education schools. The children that have shown visual acuity fewer than 0.8 or abnormally were referred by trained volunteers to avaliation by ophthalmologists from the Benjamin Constant Institute. RESULTS: From the 1800 children who were examined, 306 (17.00%) were referred to the ophthalmologic examination. There were 183 children (10.17% from total and 59.80% from referred) that were dismissed for presenting visual acuity better than 0.8. The refractive errors prevalence was 3.50% (hyperopia and astigmatism hyperopic were 1.78%, myopia and astigmatism myopic 1.06%, mixed astigmatism 0.67%).The eyes diseases prevalence was 3.50% (amblyopia was 2.00%, manifest strabismus was 1.72% and others causes was 1.11%). CONCLUSION: It was shown the prevalence of the main ophthalmologic children disorders. It also points out the need of ocular health campaigns thus achieve remarkably the development of the children visual acuity.
Refractive errors; Eye Diseases; Amblyopia; Strabismus; School health; Health promotion; Child, preschool; Child