Background: In developed countries, amblyopia has an estimated prevalence rate of 1–4%, depending on the socioeconomic gradient. Previous studies performed on pediatric populations in Ethiopia demonstrated amblyopia rates up to 16.7.
Objectives: To assess rates of amblyopia, refractive errors, strabismus, and other eye pathologies among Ethiopian-born children and adolescents who immigrated to Israel compared to Israeli-born children.
Methods This observational cross-sectional study included children and adolescents 5–19 years of age who immigrated to Israel up to 2 years before data collection and lived in an immigration center. Demographic data and general health status of the children were obtained from the parents, and a comprehensive ophthalmologic examination was performed. Results were compared to Israeli-born children.
Results: The study included 223 children and adolescents: 87 Ethiopian-born and 136 Israeli-born. The rate of amblyopia in the Ethiopian-born group vs. Israeli-born was 3.4% and 4.4%, respectively. Even after controlling for age, there was still no significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.99).
Conclusions: Despite originating from a country with limited resources and fewer medical facilities, the amblyopia rate in Jewish Ethiopian immigrants was not higher, and even mildly lower, compared to Israeli-born children.