Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



More than 90 per cent of school children in a Punjab village had eye infections. A control program with antibiotics applied once daily provided good temporary relief of symptoms and some cures, but infections rapidly returned when treatment was stopped.

Eye infections in the total population were then studied. An overall prevalence rate of 73 per cent was found. Almost half the children under one year of age were infected, rates rose to about 90 per cent during childhood and dropped to 60–70 per cent in adults. Women during the child-rearing age showed significantly higher infection rates than men. The relation to socioeconomic conditions is clearly shown by studies of caste groups, and there were important environmental features influencing spread of eye infections.

Control methods in Punjab villages should probably be focused on the homes where most of the spread of eye disease appears to occur. In addition to mass treatment, education to improve health habits is needed and would be aided by the provision of better facilities for keeping clean.


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