4595 pre-school-age children in six villages of West Java were examined every 3 months. The incidence of active corneal xerophthalmia was 5 per 1000 per year (95% confidence limits, 2.6-7.5), and the average prevalence during each round of examinations was 12 per 10 000. In a randomised, multistage cluster survey of 27 084 rural children throughout Indonesia the population-weighted prevalence of active corneal disease among pre-school-age children was 6.4 per 10 000 (95% confidence limits 3.2-9.6), 53% of that in the longitudinal study areas. At an adjusted incidence rate of 2.7 per 1000 per year, over 60 000 Indonesian children become xerophthalmic every year. By extrapolation of these findings about 500 000 new cases of xerophthalmia, half of which lead to blindness, occur each year in India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Indonesia combined.
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