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Rwanda’s National Eye Care Program Could Serve As Blueprint For Other Countries

Devex: Opinion: 6 challenges and innovations to deliver eye care for all
Tony Hulton, chief executive at Vision for a Nation

“…New models are urgently needed to meet [the] global health and development challenge [of poor vision]. In 2012, we launched a highly innovative collaboration with Rwanda’s Ministry of Health. … Vision for a Nation Foundation rigorously analyzed these efforts and designed its program to address the six following specific weaknesses or problems. 1. Limited capacity at primary health care level. … 2. Limited technical training for primary eye care … 3. Lack of follow-up training or supervision … 4. Insufficient focus on providing glasses … 5. Low uptake of eye care services … 6. Low sustainability. … Crucially, together with the Ministry of Health, we have integrated the new local eye care service into the country’s national health system. … Rwanda demonstrates how a national eye care program can be rapidly built and sustained in a low-income country, and provides a blueprint that we hope many other countries will follow…” (3/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.