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Visual function survey of commercial intercity vehicle drivers in Ilorin, Nigeria

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      Abstract

      Objective: To determine the prevalence of visual impairment among commercial intercity vehicle drivers (CIVDs) in Ilorin, Nigeria.
      Design: A cross-sectional descriptive study.
      Participants: Among the estimated 450 drivers operating in 5 motor parks for CIVDs in Ilorin, 399 drivers participated in the study.
      Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered at the motor parks to consecutive and consenting drivers, and basic ocular examinations were done.
      Results: Using the Federal Road Safety Commission's requirement for commercial drivers in Nigeria, the prevalence of drivers with inadequate visual acuity (VA) was determined to be 11.5%, and 3.3% had monocular blindness. The prevalence of abnormal colour vision and visual field loss was 4.3% and 5.5%, respectively. There was no statistically significant relationship between visual impairment (VA and visual fields) and involvement in road traffic accidents (p > 0.05). Uncorrected refractive error, cataract, and glaucoma were the commonest causes of visual defects. Three hundred thirty-seven drivers (84.5%) did not have their eyes tested at first licensing and 370 drivers (92.7%) did not have testing at least once during renewals.
      Conclusions: A significant number of CIVDs in Ilorin are operating with VA that is far below the expected for their class of licence, and another unacceptably high percentage did not undergo any form of ocular examination prior to obtaining their driving licence. There is a need for renewed efforts to enforce a compulsory basic ocular examination for all prospective commercial drivers, and to ensure that the visual requirement for driving is met.

      Résumé

      Objet: Établissement de la prévalence de la déficience visuelle chez les chauffeurs de véhicules commerciaux interurbains (VCI) d’Ilorin, au Nigeria.
      Nature: Enquête transversale.
      Participants: Parmi les quelque 450 chauffeurs de 5 parcs de VCI d”Ilorin, 399 ont participé à l”étude.
      Méthodes: On a administré consécutivement un questionnaire structuré auprès des chauffeurs consentants du parc de véhicules, qui ont aussi subi un examen oculaire de base.
      Résultats: En regard des exigences de la Commission fédérale de sécurité routière du Nigeria, on a établi à 11,5% la prévalence des chauffeurs qui avaient une acuité visuelle (AV) inadéquate et à 3,3% ceux qui avaient une cécité monoculaire. La prévalence de la vision anormale des couleurs et la perte de champ visuel s'établissaient à 4,3% et à 5,5%, respectivement. Il n'y avait pas de rapport statistiquement significatif entre la déficience visuelle (AV et champs visuels) et l’implication dans les accidents de la circulation (p > 0,05). Les erreurs réfractives non-corrigées, la cataracte et le glaucome étaient les causes les plus communes des anomalies visuelles. Trois cent trente-sept chauffeurs (84,5%) n'avaient pas subi d’examen oculaire quand ils ont obtenu leur premier permis de conduire et 370 (92,7%) n'avaient pas subi de test au moins une fois lors des renouvellements.
      Conclusions: Un nombre important de chauffeurs de VCI d’Ilorin conduisent avec une AV qui est bien en deçà des exigences de leur catégorie de permis, et un autre pourcentage inacceptable de chauffeurs n'a subi aucune forme d’examen oculaire avant d’obtenir leur permis de conduire. Il faut renouveler les efforts pour appliquer l’examen oculaire de base obligatoire à tous les éventuels chauffeurs commerciaux et veiller à faire respecter les exigences visuelles pour les chauffeurs.

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