VFAN Training Author Named IAPB “Eye Health Hero”

Dr Ciku Mathenge has been named a 2016 Eye Health Hero by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). Vision for a Nation (VFAN) nominated Dr Ciku for her enormous contribution to eye care in Africa, including the development of a pioneering three-day primary eye care training curriculum.

The Eye Health Heroes programme is an initiative of the IAPB in partnership with L’Occitane Foundation designed to celebrate eye care practitioners and front line staff whose everyday efforts behind the scenes are making a real difference towards Universal Eye Health.

VFAN’s nomination statement said: “Dr Ciku is a leader in eye care in Africa both in clinical care and in research, and has worked tirelessly for universal eye care. The primary eye care curriculum represents a significant innovation in global eye care and could help rapidly scale the delivery of eye care to populations in low- and middle-income countries globally. It has already helped train 2,500 nurses in Rwanda who have provided over 1 million screenings.”

Dr Ciku comments: “My initial motivation for specialising in ophthalmology stemmed from my experiences watching miraculous blindness reversing operations while on a short attachment in the eye unit. That wonder has never left me but I have now come to realise that so many processes need to be in place for that miracle to happen. I have realised that among them, education is key. This miracle needs everyone’s efforts and my role is to play my part.”

Ciku Rwanda
Photo: Michael Amendolia
PEC Rwanda