Volume 2003, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • EISSN: 2227-0426


Using the World Health Organization (WHO) visual acuity classification protocol, a national simple descrip-tive study for determination of the causes and severity of sight loss amongst 90 children studying in Al Noor Insti-tute for blinds in Qatar was done between September 2001-September 2002. Of 90 patients with complete ophthalmic examinations, 65 (72%) of them had an inherited or con-genital cause and only 25(28%) had an acquired cause. The main causes were bilateral congenital microphthalmia, Homocystinuria with lens subluxation or dislocations, ac-quired retinal disease such as Retinopathy of prematurity. Congenital cataract, retinitis Pigmentosa, Optic atrophy and congenital Glaucoma in descending order.

Conclusion: The principal causes of blindness amongst children in Qatar were inherited and/or congenital, most probably due to consanguineous marriages. The outline for childhood blindness is similar in Arab gulf countries in comparison to distant countries such as India, Czech Re-


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