The recent famine in Ethiopia has resulted in the dislocation of millions of people. Many of these individuals have moved to refugee camps in Sudan or to feeding centres within Ethiopia. A total of 1325 children up to the age of 15 years were examined by an ophthalmologist in January 1985 at several sites in these two countries. The rates of Bitot's spots were three times greater in those between the ages of 7 and 10 compared with those under 7. Rates of corneal xerosis were comparable for each group. Previously, xerophthalmia was considered predominantly to affect children aged under 6. These data document the presence of the disease in older children and raise questions regarding future modifications in the prevention and treatment of xerophthalmia.
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