Mahama (Rwanda): more than a thousand refugees suffering from eye diseases

Mahama (Rwanda): more than a thousand refugees suffering from eye diseases

This is the findings from an ophthalmological screening campaign that has been carried out over the past three months in the Mahama camp. The observation is that many Burundian refugees suffer from vision problems. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

All refugees were free to get tested for free. The finding is terrible.

“It’s not really normal. More than 80% of the people screened show symptoms of eye diseases, either serious or minor, but all of them need treatment,” explains a nurse at the Mahama camp located further east in Rwanda.

The reasons are various.

“It’s either related to the sudden change in diet, or also caused by climate change or related to heredity because we also find more allergies,” medical sources say.

Free treatment

What is promising for these refugees is that medicines and glasses are free.

“You just have to present a medical prescription with a screening number, glasses, ointments, tablets or other treatments are free and available at the Mahama I health center of the NGO ALIGHT. We are still grateful for it,” say refugees.

Lists of people who have been screened are also put on the notice board at this health centre.

Community leaders are asking that another phase of screening be organized.

“There are people who have taken this campaign lightly and who are sorry for the moment, others perhaps did not know about it. We recommend that the campaign be reorganized to reach more needy people,” they say, while thanking the camp administration and UNHCR for the medical care.

This camp has more than 42,000 refugees, including more than 39,000 Burundians.

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