Night blindness and associated factors among pregnant women in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Articles
  • Submited: May 21, 2023
  • Published: September 25, 2023


Background: Night blindness is a significant public health problem among pregnant women in Ethiopia. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to estimate the pooled prevalence of night blindness and its associated factors among pregnant women in Ethiopia.

Methods: Studies were searched using electronic databases such as PubMed, Science Direct, and gray literature using Google scholar as well as manual search of reference list of previous studies to retrieve related articles. We used a total of Seven primary studies in our review. Quality of all eligible studies was checked using JBI critical appraisal assessment tool. Data extraction and analysis were performed using Microsoft excel-10 and STATA 17 software respectively. Heterogeneity and publication bias were checked using the I2statistic and Egger’s test, respectively. Meta-analysis was carried out using random-effects model.

Results: The overall pooled prevalence of night blindness among pregnant women in Ethiopia was 19.32% (95% CI:12.61-26.04).Subgroup analysis revealed that high prevalence of night blindness found in the Amhara region which was 21.41% (95%CI:12.83-30.13),but lower prevalence found in the southern region which was 10%(95%CI:4.23-15.77) and Meta-analysis using two primary studies revealed that those night blinding among age 35 and above have 3.02 (95% CI:1.73-5.24) times higher risk of getting blind compared to those pregnant women age less than 25 years old.

Conclusion: The overall pooled prevalence of night blindness among pregnant women in Ethiopia was 19.32%.Pregnant women age greater than 35 years were significantly affected by night blindness So, strengthening the multivitamin supplementation including vitamin A to reproductive age women is crucial and improving women’s married during teenage is an important intervention to tackle maternal night blindness.



Download data is not yet available.


  1. Smith JS. Eye diseases in hot climates. Elsevier Limited; 2003.
  2. Group IVAC. Maternal night blindness: a new indicator of vitamin A deficiency. IVACG statement. International Vitamin A Consultative Group Washington; 2002.
  3. Baytekus A, Tariku A, Debie A. Clinical vitamin-A deficiency and associated factors among pregnant and lactating women in Northwest Ethiopia: a community-based cross-sectional study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2019;19(1):1–8.
  4. WHO. Global prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in populations at risk 1995– 2005. WHO Global Database on Vitamin A Deficiency. 2009.
  5. Christian P, West Jr KP, Khatry SK, Kimbrough-Pradhan E, LeClerq SC, Katz J, et al. Night blindness during pregnancy and subsequent mortality among women in Nepal: effects of vitamin A and β-carotene supplementation. Am J Epidemiol. 2000;152(6):542–7.
  6. Unit N, Organization WH. Indicators for assessing vitamin A deficiency and their application in monitoring and evaluating intervention programmes. World Health Organization; 1996.
  7. Organization WH. Guideline: vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women. World Health Organization; 2012.
  8. Russell RM. The vitamin A spectrum: from deficiency to toxicity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(4):878–84.
  9. Seid O, Tsadik M, Kassa N. Night blindness is a serious public health problem of pregnant women’s in Tahtay Koraro District, Tigray region, northern Ethiopia. J Food Nutr Sci. 2015;3(1):17–23.
  10. Hiwot A, Abebe H, Abebe Y, Loha E, Stoecker BJ. Original article consumption of vitamin a rich foods and dark adaptation threshold of pregnant women at damot sore district , Wolayita , southern Ethiopia.
  11. Damtie A, Id A, Atenafu A, Sisay M. Adequate vitamin A rich food consumption and associated factors among lactating mothers visiting child immunization and post- natal clinic at health institutions in Gondar. 2020;3:1–14. Available from:
  12. Unit N, Organization WH. Global prevalence of vitamin A deficiency. World Health Organization; 1995
  13. Samba C, Tchibindat F, Gourmel B, Houzé P, Malvy D. Prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in pregnant and lactating women in the Republic of Congo. J Health Popul Nutr. 2013;31(1):28.
  14. Bhutta ZA, Soofi SB, Zaidi SSH, Habib A, Hussain I. Pakistan national nutrition survey, 2011. 2011;
  15. Ahmed F, Azim A, Akhtaruzzaman M. Vitamin A deficiency in poor, urban, lactating women in Bangladesh: factors influencing vitamin A status. Public Health Nutr. 2003;6(5):447–52.
  16. Dreyfuss ML, Stoltzfus RJ, Shrestha JB, Pradhan EK, LeClerq SC, Khatry SK, et al. Hookworms, malaria and vitamin A deficiency contribute to anemia and iron deficiency among pregnant women in the plains of Nepal. J Nutr. 2000;130(10):2527–36.
  17. West Jr KP. Vitamin A deficiency disorders in children and women. Food Nutr Bull. 2003;24(4_suppl2):S78–90.
  18. Katz J, Khatry SK, West KP, Humphrey JH, Leclerq SC, Pradhan EK, et al. Night blindness is prevalent during pregnancy and lactation in rural Nepal. J Nutr. 1995;125(8):2122–7.
  19. Katz J, Tielsch JM, Thulasiraj RD, Coles C, Sheeladevi S, Yanik EL, et al. Risk factors for maternal night blindness in rural South India. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2009;16(3):193–7.
How to Cite
Sisay, D., Leka Lerango, T., Bizuneh Bekele , B., Asefa, G., Abebe, M., Endashaw Hareru, H., Teshale Asfaw, Y., & Hailemariam Tesfaye, S. (2023). Night blindness and associated factors among pregnant women in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ethiopian Medical Journal, 61(4). Retrieved from

Send mail to Author

Send Cancel