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A Survey on Ophthalmia Neonatorum in Benin City, Nigeria (Emphasis on gonococcal ophthalmia)

By Dr Eghosasere Iyamu and Dr Onaiwu Enabulele


The purpose of the study was to investigate the incidence of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum considering its ability to lead to childhood blindness through corneal ulceration and scarification. Eye swabs were obtained from 330 neonates of 1-5 days in the hospitals of study. Of these, 248 yielded growth and six bacterial genera were identified using standard techniques. Staphylococcus aureus was the most prevalent (60.5%) while Neisseria gonorrhoeae accounted for 1.7%. Susceptibility patterns of bacterial isolates to four antibiotics were determined using Disk-diffusion tests. Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria gonorrhoeae showed 62.5 and 100% susceptibility to Erythromycin while 66.7% of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella and 62.5% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were susceptible to Gentamicin. The incidence of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum for the period of study was 8.9 (cases per 1,000 live births). Prevention is through ocular prophylaxis by the application of either 1% silver nitrate ophthalmic solution or 0.5% erythromycin ointment to the neonates’ eyes some hours after birth. This would help to preserve vision and reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of childhood blindness

Topics: Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences
Publisher: Kakkilaya BS
Year: 2003
OAI identifier:

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