The Rwanda National Blindness Survey: Trends and use of the evidence to change practice and policy

African Vision and Eye Health

Field Value
Title The Rwanda National Blindness Survey: Trends and use of the evidence to change practice and policy
Creator Mathenge, Wanjiku C. Hillgrove, Tessa Gisagara, Egide Uwaliraye, Parfait Hess, Olivia Byamukama, Emmanuel Intili, Alessandra Nyemazi, Alex Nkurikiye, John
Subject Ophthalmology;National Survey; Blindness RAAB; policy change; visual impairment; Rwanda; blindness; evidence
Description Background: In order to gather evidence to guide eye care policy changes in Rwanda, a national population-based blindness and visual impairment survey was undertaken in 2015.Aim: To influence and direct policy changes using blindness survey findings.Setting: Nationwide sampling.Methods: Standard Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey methodology was used across to examine 5065 (97.5% response rate) people aged 50 years and older. This is a case report of how the government used the evidence from the survey.Results: The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of blindness was 1.1% (0.7–1.4) of which 83.9% was avoidable, with cataract being the major cause. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of visual impairment at the 6/18 level is 4.4% (3.7–5.1), with refractive errors and cataract being the major causes. The prevalence of all refractive errors was 4.3%, the majority of which was uncorrected. The cataract surgical coverage (CSC) was 68.4%, with 45.4% of surgeries performed at the secondary level. Difficulty in reaching surgical facilities (33.3%) was the main barrier to surgery. These results informed policy changes aimed towards an increase in the number of cataract surgeons, the volume of cataract surgery performed and broader spectacle provision.Conclusion: The prevalence of blindness in Rwanda is low compared to the previous estimates, although a considerable proportion is avoidable and the majority of refractive errors were uncorrected. The CSC and surgical outcomes are improving. The government, informed by this evidence, has introduced targeted initiatives to improve eye-care delivery in Rwanda.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor Fred Hollows Foundation Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology
Date 2021-07-15
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Survey; ODI RAPID
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/aveh.v80i1.576
Source African Vision and Eye Health; Vol 80, No 1 (2021); 10 pages 2410-1516 2413-3183
Language eng
Coverage Africa; Rwanda 2015-2020 —
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Wanjiku C. Mathenge, Tessa Hillgrove, Egide Gisagara, Parfait Uwaliraye, Olivia Hess, Emmanuel Byamukama, Alessandra Intili, Alex Nyemazi, John Nkurikiye