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[This article belongs to Volume - 25, Issue - 06]

Prevalence of Amblyopia in children in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: A systematic review and Meta-analysis

The prevalence of amblyopia in children in Eastern Mediterranean countries (EMR) varies from country to country. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the prevalence of amblyopia in children in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. The present study was conducted in 2023 using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analyses (PRISMA). The study team searched PubMed, Embase, Scholar, Web of Science, Index Medicus, Cochrane Library, and Medline to find prevalence studies for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, published between February 2000 and February 2023. This review included cross-sectional and population-based studies with an estimate of the prevalence of amblyopia in children published in peer-reviewed journals. Of the 2203 articles screened from the five countries, the inclusion criteria were met. Likewise, the expected outcome of the prevalence of amblyopia in children was pooled and estimated with 95% confidence intervals (CI). A total of (N=36) studies were included in the present systematic review, including children with amblyopia aged between 0 and 22 years. The overall estimated pooled prevalence of amblyopia among children (1.31 %, 95% CI: 1.29 to 1.33; P < 0.001). Interestingly, it was observed that, 7 to 15 years, the prevalence found that (2.022 %, 95% CI: 1.1935 to 2.113) higher than the younger group (1.255 %, 95% CI: 1.238 to 1.273). The prevalence of amblyopia in children with EMR was high in children aged between 6 and 15 years. The prevalence was lower in younger children. Similarly, amblyopia in children is a substantial concern worldwide. To mitigate this issue, early and timely vision screening at school levels, and detection, diagnosis, and management of amblyopia at the community level need to be implemented in order to eradicate the public health and vision impairment issue.