Service is provided at 502 health centers.

(Press Release) LONDON -- Vision for a Nation (VFAN) has now helped over 1 million people to access eye care services across Rwanda. The UK charity has supported Rwanda’s Ministry of Health to successfully build an affordable nationwide eyecare service that is locally available to all the nation’s 10.5 million people and is fully integrated into the public health system.

The service is provided at all of Rwanda’s 502 local health centers by certified nurses trained by VFAN to provide eyecare since 2013. A nationwide outreach program launched in 2015 is extending the service to 100 percent of Rwanda’s 15,000 villages to maximise awareness and address the huge backlog of need. Over 1.2 million eye screenings, 560,000 medication prescriptions, 144,000 referrals for specialist treatment and 109,000 pairs of glasses have been provided to date.

Theophile – a textile worker reliant on her sight – is one of the 1 million-plus people helped by VFAN. She said: “Now that I have these glasses, I am not worried for my job anymore. The glasses help me in my job, and that way I am able to continue to provide for my family.”

Tom Rosewall, CEO of VFAN, said: “Rwanda is the first emerging country in the world to provide all of its people with local access to affordable eyecare. In only four years the service that we have helped build throughout the nation has served more than 1 million people – 10 percent of the population. With complete integration within Rwanda’s public health system, it will continue to help people long into the future. We are now working to take our groundbreaking approach to other countries around the world.”

 

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