Lt. Col. Dr. John Nkurikiye, the only Rwandan Ophthalmology specialist Consultant has disclosed that 67% of blind Rwandans lost sight due to Cataract disease.
Dr. Nkurikiye announced the percentage during the end of the free surgery week that saw at least 60 people with cataract eye disease getting operated.
A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light.
According to Dr Nkurikiye, there are about 50,000 blind Rwandans in the country, adding that some of this blindness can be cured through surgery.
Among the beneficiaries, Hamim Rutayisire, running a spare-parts shop in Gatsata narrated, “I have lived with the eye problem for over six years. At some point I had almost completely lost my sight.
This derailed my business which suffered losses since I wasn’t able to attend to it all the time due to my eye problems. Both my eyes have been operated upon and now I can see clearly.”
The free surgery is an outreach service of the Rwanda Institute of Ophthalmology in collaboration with The Rwanda Military Hospital.
Meanwhile with the ever increasing interaction of citizens in the member states of East African community, caution has to be considered following a deadly and fast spreading outbreak of Trachoma infection reported in Uganda’s Moroto district with more than 5, 000 cases confirmed.
Sister Emily Akuru, the in charge of Moroto Eye Clinic at Moroto Referral Hospital, told local media on Monday that they are overwhelmed with the number of the trachoma patients visiting the clinic diagnosing between 35 to 45 patients daily.
Trachoma infection presents with among others, the itching of the eye, eye discharge, and swelling of the eye.
If left untreated or not treated immediately, trachoma causes the inflammation of the conjunctivitis of the eye resulting in subsequent blindness.
Trachoma is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness and occurs where people live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to water and health care.