People with eye defects will no longer need to put on glasses to improve their sight following the introduction of a kind of surgery that permanently corrects it (the eye defect ).
The system, which is the first of its kind in the country, involves planting artificial contact lens (ICL) in the patient’s eyes so as to correct a refractive error (short /far sightedness, and other diseases).
“The equipment to carry out this surgery cost us about US$75,000. It’s a perfect option for people who find using glasses a bother, and its ideal for people who are between the age of 18 and 40. We don’t consider any one outside that age bracket fit,” said Dr. John Nkurikiye, the medical director at Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, during a new briefing in Kigali this week.
According to Dr. Ashvin Agarwal, a cornea and refractive surgeon working with the same hospital group, the lens implant cost about US$1,500 for each eye, saving patients from travelling to South Africa, the only other place on the continent where similar care is offered, at a cost of US$4,000 for each eye.
“Follow-up will even be easy since we are easily accessible,” he pointed out.
Nkurikiye added that plans are underway to get local health insurance firms involved so the care is made affordable to even low-income earners.
“We receive about 100 eye patients everyday, and 10 to 20 of them usually require glasses to correct eye sight, so we hope this surgery will sort the problem,” Nkurikiye mentioned.
“The surgery takes about 5-10 minutes, and a patient is required to come back at least once in a year for follow-up,” explained S. Rajagopalan, the Director of Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospitals worldwide.
He added that the Kigali hospital expects to attract patients from neighbouring nations since this care only exists in two countries on the continent.