Rwanda moves for better eye care

KIGALI, Rwanda-The Rwanda government is improving eye care services as a way to better the living standards of the people.A new strategy has been developed involving training of 900 health workers on eye care treatment by Vision for Africa. The training took part at various health centre across the country.

“We had thought of training about two nurses from 450 health centres across the country, but with more opening up, we will be training more,” Rose Gahire,
the VFA Country Director said last week.
She was launching the next phase of the training aimed at increasing access to affordable eye care services.
About 95% of people in the sub-Saharan Africa have no access to affordable eye treatment according to World Health Organization research.
 “We collaborated with the Ministry of Health to get primary health care services to this country”, said the NGO Programmes Officer, Abdullah Uwihoreye. He said this was done right from the grassroots.

“This programme needs to be fixed in the curriculum of the School of Nurses which will help create more eye-care people in the country,” Uwihoreye said.
Almost all health care centres in the country so far have two primary eye-care nurses who deal with mostly eye allergies and bacterial infections.
“These again can give out glasses to eye patients who may require them”, he said.
VFA started its services in Rwanda  in 2010 and to date they have distributed 33.000 spectacles, with three teachers trained from each nursing school which help maintain the programme.

“With the increasing number of eye patients in the country this initiative will help offer quick and good eye care services,” Uwihoreye said.