Cataract eye disease patients from Gisagara and Bugesera districts are presently undergoing free extraction surgery at kanombe Military Hospital.
This is part of the Rwanda Defence Forces’ annual community outreach activities dubbed the Army Week that got underway early this month.
Lt. Col. Dr. John Nkurikiye, the Ophthalmic Surgeon heading the surgery team said that they were expecting 71 and 69 cataract disease patients from Gisagara and Bugesera districts, respectively.
“We are expecting a total of 140 patients, 18 of whom are completely blind. I will be operating between 35 to 45 patients a day. They will fully regain their sight,” said Dr.Nkurikiye.
Dr Joseph Munana, the Ophthalmology Clinical Director in-charge, said that 0.5 percent of Rwandans are blind with most of the cases attributed to the cataract eye disease.
He added that over 200,000 Rwandans suffer from the cataract eye disease that leads to blindness.
According to the Director of Kanombe Military Hospital, Dr. Ben Karenzi, the Army Week extends services to the most vulnerable who might never have had a chance to receive medical intervention, mainly because they cannot afford to pay for the surgery.
Marthe Kubwimana, a 78 year old woman from Gisagara, who was operated upon yesterday, was jubilant that she will recover her sight.
“I have been blind for two years. I stopped practicing agriculture because I couldn’t see. Life was so hard because I had to depend on other people. The Army Week came as a blessing to us. I have been operated and now I will be able to see again,” the ecstatic Kubwimana said.
Elias Ntabomvura, 75, revealed that he lost his sight over 20 years and has been helpless ever since.
“I’m so grateful to the good Samaritans that came to my rescue. They offered us transport, food and accommodation alongside free surgery. I’m going to see my wife and three children after all these years,” Ntabomvura observed.