The UK’s Department for International Development has invested £250,000 in British charity Vision For A Nation that will be used to buy glasses to be distributed across Rwanda in a effort to help improve vision among the population.
The UK government this August 2013 revealed that the adjustable glasses to be donated by the British charity could improve the vision of thousands of people in Rwanda.
“These affordable, self-adjustable glasses are a real game changer. British ingenuity like this can transform the lives of millions of visually impaired people across the developing world. I’m proud that British inventors and designers are responsible for breakthroughs that continue to improve the world around us,” said Justine Greening, Development Secretary.
The glasses that are focused using an adjustable dial costing at just £1 per pair were developed by Oxford-based firm Adlens.
The British charity’s gesture comes after training 700 nurses across the country have so far acquired basic skills in conducting vision assessments and providing treatment after undergoing training in eye care treatment which started in December 2012 and is expected to go through the end of 2013.
Jean Marie Vianey Bisangimana, an Ophthalmologist at Kabgayi Hospital, said the programme will help the hospital improve service delivery.
The hospital receives over 120 patients every day from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, he said.
The skill development program targets 1,600 nurses from 417 community health centres throughout the country, according to Abdallah Uwihoreye, the Vision for a Nation Foundation Programmes Manager.
Rwanda also embraced Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital in 2012, making it the first foreign specialist establishment, which is most likely to become a regional eye referral centre.
The aim of this hospital is to stop any referrals for eye treatment outside Rwanda. We have advanced eye investigational services and a network of over 59 hospitals and a pool of 350 specialists from where we can perform specialised care,” said to John Nkurikiye, the hospital’s medical director.
According to officials, 0.5 per cent of Rwandans are blind with most cases attributed to the cataract eye disease.