Title Title
1196871224_b013c58a99_n Rwanda becomes first low-income nation to provide universal eye care
Summary Summary
  The pioneering program will help break Rwanda's cycle of poverty, according to one of the consultants
Highlights Highlights
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  <i>This is an emerging story which needs expansion. If you wish you may EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK.</i>
  <strong>Rwanda partnered with UK-based charity Vision for a Nation (VFAN) to become the first low-income in the world to deliver universal <a href="http://visionforanation.net/our-work/rwanda/">primary eye care</a> for its 12 million citizens.</strong>
  <a href="http://visionforanation.net/our-work/rwanda/">Over a five-year period</a>, the collaboration extended eye care services to the country's 15,000 villages by training over 3,000 nurses based in 502 health centers. Eye care now ranges from everyday checkups to referrals to national clinics for those needing life-changing surgeries.
  “We’ve found that 34% of the population in Rwanda could benefit from some form of eye care," <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/31/rwanda-becomes-first-poor-country-to-provide-eye-care-for-all">said</a> ophthalmologist Jennifer Yip (<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/31/rwanda-becomes-first-poor-country-to-provide-eye-care-for-all"><em>The Guardian</em></a>), an associate professor of public health at The London School of Hygiene &amp; Tropical Medicine and the <a href="http://visionforanation.net/our-work/latest-news/pioneering-research-launched/">project's lead researcher.</a>
  Diane Gashumba, the country's Minister of Health, <a href="http://visionforanation.net/our-work/rwanda/">said</a>: “Rwanda is leading the way in Africa by providing all its people with affordable eye care... The impact of this initiative has been enormous."
  Although Rwanda has made substantial progress in reducing structural and <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/5-things-to-know-about-rwanda-s-economy/">gender inequalities</a> (WEF) and enjoyed sustained economic growth over the past two decades (<a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/rwanda/overview#3">World Bank</a>), it ranks 159th on the 2016 Human Development Index and its poverty rate stood at 39 percent in 2014 (<a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/rwanda/overview#1">World Bank</a>).
  VFAN consultant <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/31/rwanda-becomes-first-poor-country-to-provide-eye-care-for-all">Graeme Mackenzie says (<em>The Guardian</em>)</a> the country's cycle of poverty is exacerbated by ailing sight conditions because many people – particularly women – working in it's predominantly <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/rwanda/overview">agricultural sector</a> start losing their sight in their forties, leading to difficulties at work.
  "Now, the breadwinner is no longer earning enough. The young girls in the family are pulled out of school so they can work in agriculture to help," says Mackenzie. "They do not finish their education and the whole cycle of poverty is just reinforced."
&nbsp <i>This is an emerging story which needs expansion. If you wish you may EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK.</i>
Categories Categories
  Africa, Current Affairs, Gender, Health, Medicine, Rwanda, Rwanda
Article type Article type
  emerging
Tags Tags
  jennifer yip, primary eye care, rwanda, vision for a nation
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