Prof. Lévi Kandeke on behalf of Centre Tertaire des Soins Oculaires de l’Enfant (CTSOE), Burundi
To increase the availability of subsidized eyecare services in Burundi and to develop cost-effective eye screening programs by training teachers as childhood vision screeners.
There are an estimated 1.4 million children suffering from blindness globally, over 90% of whom live in middle and low-income countries.1 Burundi is a small densely populated country in Eastern Africa, with over 90% of its population living on less than $2 a day.1 As children make up 47% of Burundi’s population, this project aims to reduce childhood blindness in the country by improving eyecare access for low-income families.
With XOVA funding, this project aims to develop primary healthcare programs to increase the availability of subsidized eyecare services in Burundi. It also aims to train primary healthcare workers and schoolteachers to perform eye screening services for children. 200 teachers will be trained to potentially screen 30,000 children. This will in turn increase community-based identification and referral of possible eye conditions. Following implementation of eye screening programs, the number of children in rural areas screened for eye disease and the number of children undergoing cataract surgery is hoped to increase by over 80%.
- Ruhagaze P, Njuguna KK, Kandeke L, Courtright P. Blindness and severe visual impairment in pupils at schools for the blind in Burundi. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2013 Jan-Mar;20(1):61-5. doi: 10.4103/0974-9233.106390.