The Ministry of health in collaboration with its partners has celebrated the World Sight Day at Masaka District Hospital on 13 October 2022.
The event has engaged with the public and private organizations across the country with the common goal of drawing attention towards vision-related issues and eye health.
With a different theme every year, the ninth World Sight Day, will be observed under the theme: “Love Your Eyes” which is all about calling upon people being aware of their own eye health.
Much effort has been done including the initiated PBF program in the health facilities, cataract surgical outreaches by Hospital as well as innovation to use eye tracker system for the registration of eye condition at Health Center.
Different activities are planned to take place in the period of 2 weeks starting from its preparation whereby the Ministry plans to carry out 1000 cataract surgeries.
The head of the association of ophthalmologists Francis Mutangana, said that eye diseases is classified among the top five diseases for which people come for treatment at hospitals for the past five years. The common eye diseases, short, long sightedness and cataracts, with the latter being the most dominant.
“Globally cataracts are responsible for a big percentage of blindness but with the best surgery, you can have your eyesight again. It is not advisable to use traditional medicine since this causes more eye infections,” he said.
Dr. Joel Bahoza, the head of specialised health services and traditional medicine at the Ministry of health said that the ministry has taken at heart the issue of sight for the population, that is why is training more doctors in the eye specialization. He adds that e ministry has purchased equipment to facilitate doctors during cataract surgeries.
Nearly everyone on the planet will experience an eye health issue in their lifetime and more than a billion people worldwide do not have access to eye care services.
According to a Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness conducted in Rwanda 2015, 1% of people aged 50 years and more are blind, often due to avoidable causes (84%).
The prevalence of severe visual impairment (SVI) was estimated at 0.7% for both sexes, and the prevalence of mild visual impairment was 2.6% (males: 1.9%; females: 3.1%).
Rwanda Health Management Information System (R-HMIS) data 2021 shown that from 2017 to 2020, there is an increase of eye OPD cases by 45% from (512.321) in 2017 to 743.399 case in 2020.