30 people are set to benefit from free cornea transplant surgeries, an exercise that started yesterday at Masaka Hospital in Kicukiro District.
It is as an outreach service of the Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology in collaboration with the Rwanda Military Hospital.
Surgery is necessary when one’s cornea is transparent leading to loss of sight.
The new cornea tissue is obtained from dead people extracted less than six hours after the person’s death.
According to the head of the surgery department at Rwanda Military Hospital, Maj. Dr. King Kayondo, many people suffer from the condition but cannot afford treatment due to the excessive cost.
“It costs approximately Rwf 1 million for only one person to have a cornea transplant surgery. This is very expensive for most people, which is why we decided to give back to community by doing it free of charge,” Kayondo observed.
He added that many patients remain blind for life because of the high cost of the surgery.
He stated that two American Ophthalmologists were also in the country to help.
The outreach programme, which kicked off yesterday, will last three consecutive days. Cornea tissue in Rwanda is mostly imported and donated from countries like America.
However, plans are underway to begin extracting the cornea tissue from Rwanda to limit importation costs.