Rwanda becomes first low-income country to provide eye care for all

Signal of change / Rwanda becomes first low-income country to provide eye care for all

By Ella-Louise Micallef / 12 Feb 2018

The Rwanda government has partnered with Vision for a Nation (VFAN) to train more than 3,000 eye care nurses in 502 local health centres, in order to provide universal eye care for its population of 12 million. Short sightedness is the most common eye related problem in Rwanda, and more than 80% of eye conditions there are considered preventable.

So what?

Most people’s livelihoods depend on their ability to see well, so when this deteriorates they are often unable to earn a basic income, leaving them and their families to suffer. As a result young children are pulled out of school so they can go and earn an income, resulting in them being unable to finish their education, and thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty.The consequences of implementing affordable eye care will be significant, through providing people and nations with the care they need to thrive.

Could we see this implemented elsewhere, possibly in combination with other health services - such as dental?

Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/31/rwanda-becomes-first-poor-country-to-provide-eye-care-for-all

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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