- Since 1994 the country is politically stable
- There are approximately 12 million inhabitants
- 75% of the workforce is employed in agriculture
- 60% of the population lives below the poverty line
- The country is heavily dependent on foreign aid
- There is a lack of basic health care
- Poor infrastructure and the lack of access to electricity impede the development of the country
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What does the Eye Care Foundation do?
In 2017 the Eye Care Foundation Board agreed to a long-term collaboration with ophthalmolgist Dr. Piet Noë to support his comprehensive and important eye care project Vision For All Rwanda.
There is an urgent need to further develop the eye care services in Rwanda.
Currently there are only 16 ophthalmologists working in Rwanda, on a population of 12 million inhabitants. And even though this total number of ophthalmologists has increased over the past years, the number of cataract surgeries and other eye surgeries have not increased accordingly. There are over 35.000 people blind of cataract in Rwanda and the demand for cataract surgery is increasing. With the population growing fast, there is an acute shortage of ophthalmologists.
Phase 1 (2016-2017): the construction of a new eye hospital, the Rwanda Charity Eye Hospital (RCEH). This hospital is planned to be fully operational in 2018.
Phase 2 (2018-2020): the extension of the eye care services to the catchment area of the hospital. The planned activities are:
- RCEH aims to become a teaching facility, sharing knowledge and skills in order to train young Rwandan ophthalmologists and eye nurses
- Organizing outreach activities: regular eye screening camps and surgery camps in remote areas where people currently have no access to eye care services
- Setting up of the referral chain in the catchment area
- Support to ophthalmic clinical officers in the district hospitals with the basic ophthalmic equipment
- Subsidize cataract surgeries for poor people who are unable to pay themselves