Eleven hospitals countrywide have received eye care equipment worth $186,000 (about Rwf128 million) courtesy of Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF), an Australia based non-government organisation.
The donation was announced on Wednesday during a meeting of health officials in Kigali.
The equipment include slit lamps, minor surgical sets, trial lens, lead pads, among others.
The recipient hospitals include Kibuye, Gihundwe, Rutongo, Nyagatare, Rwamagana, Ruhengeri, Murunda, Kirinda, Mugonero,Gisenyi, Shyira, Kabaya, and Muhororo.
Dr Marie-Aimee Muhimpundu, the head of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) at Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), said the donation will help fill the equipment gap in the beneficiary hospitals.
The Chief Executive Officer of FHF, Brian Doolan, pledged continued support.
Dr Chiku Mathenge, an ophthalmologist and medical advisor to FHF, said Rwanda currently has 16 eye specialists and that all the five referral hospitals in the country offer specialised eye care services.
“The major cause of blindness in Rwanda is cataract, trachoma and glaucoma (pressure that damages the optic nerve) while poor vision is caused by refractive error such as myopia,” she said.
She added that though 68 per cent of blindness is caused by cataract disease, 80 per cent of the cases can be treated.
The 2012 census shows that there are 57,000 blind people countrywide.