Joy for eye patients who can see again

Alvania Nyiramukara thought she would never see again after she lost sight due to a cataract disease two years ago.
Some of patients after the eye surgery. Most of them regained sight after years of blindness. (Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)
Some of patients after the eye surgery. Most of them regained sight after years of blindness. (Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)

Alvania Nyiramukara thought she would never see again after she lost sight due to a cataract disease two years ago.

“I had been blind for two years and I could do nothing on my own and all my life depended on others. I needed a guide to move,” she said.

The 78-year-old woman, from Nkotsi Sector in Musanze District, said she lived a miserable life after losing sight.

“I had never dreamt of seeing again, my husband did all the domestic chores and I became a burden to neighbours and family members,” Nyiramukara said.

But her miracle happened this week after she was selected among eye patients to receive free treatment provided by a team of Rwanda Defence Forces doctors from Rwanda Military Hospital, Kanombe,  who are conducting outreach activities.

More than 100 patients are being attended to by the specialists at Ruhengeri Hospital.

”They first came and tested us but I was told that my eyes had a serious problem that could not easily be treated. They, however, took our contacts and later called us and gave us appointment to come to this hospital for treatment,” she said.

New hope for life

It was since then that Nyiramukara regained hope to see the world again. When she was interviewed, she was excited and could identify everything around her.

“Doctors operated on me on Tuesday and I started seeing. I was happy to see my husband’s face again. Even now I can see everyone here,” Nyiramukara said.

“I had lost hope of ever seeing again and I see this as a God’s miracle. I am really thankful for military doctors who helped me regain my sight. I am happy that I will never need a guide again and will be able to engage in various development activities,” she added.

More than 100 eye defect patients are expected to be attended to, according to Dr John Nkurikiye, an ophthalmologist who heads the team of doctors.

Concesa  Ntawugashira, who got blind in 2000 and could not go for treatment, is finally happy she has at least got some professional help.

“I neglected and thought nobody could bring back my sight, I became blind and believed I would spend the life as a blind woman,” she said.

“But when I heard of Army Week’s treatment, I was eager and wanted to be one of beneficiaries.  The doctors have been helpful and now I see well. I see that God is great. He brought doctors here, I have no way to thank them as I could but God will only reward them,” Dominique Sebushagu, 74, from Gahunga Sector in Burera District, said after being operated on.

Although he could not totally see, he was optimistic he would regain his sight in the near future.

Cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye which leads to a decrease in vision. It is the most common cause of blindness and is conventionally treated with surgery.

Visual loss occurs because opacification of the lens obstructs light from passing and being focused on to the retina at the back of the eye.

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