Making eye care available to Rwanda
Author: Simon Jones
UK sight loss charity Vision for a Nation Foundation has celebrated carrying out two million eye care screenings in Rwanda, making it the first developing country in the world to provide all its citizens with local access to affordable eye care checks.
The charity launched its national eye health programme in 2012 and has since trained 2,700 Rwandan Ministry of Health nurses to provide eye care services at the country’s 502 local health centres.
New services have been integrated within Rwanda’s national health system, including a unique three-day training course for nurses and outreach to all 15,000 villages in Rwanda. To date, a million people have received eye medication, 204,000 have been referred for specialist treatment at hospitals and 149,000 have received glasses.
The founder of Vision for a Nation, James Chen, visited Nyanza District in Rwanda during the week that the two millionth screening was announced. He said: ‘It is testament to the extraordinary engagement by all levels of government, and the dedication of Rwanda’s health care workforce that we have achieved this milestone.’