The New Times (Kigali)

24 January 2011

Rwanda: KFH, K Carries Out Successful Cornea Transplants

Kigali — A team of Rwandan doctors, including two cornea transplant specialists from King Faisal Hospital Kigali (KFH, K) and Kigali Health Institute (KHI), have announced that they have successfully preformed three cornea transplant surgeries at KFH, K.

Cornea is a transparent window at the front of the eye, that plays the role of focusing light from objects on the retina (the part that captures images to be processed by the brain) for a sharp vision.

According to Dr. John Nkurikiye, an ophthalmologist and cornea specialist at KFH K, 22 patients were previously operated on, in July 2009, and 9 in February 2010.

Doctors reported a successful operation on Monday January 17, 2011 after discharging the three patients, a 40 years old lady, a 24 year-old man and 12 year-old boy whose conditions the doctors say are improving.

"We have the required skills and equipment to perform this kind of operations but the main challenge is to get corneas in Rwanda," Nkurikiye said.

He added that the hospital is working on a project to get its own eye bank functional and will, very soon, start processing tissues from Rwandan donors.

The first corneal transplants Rwanda were carried out in 2005 when 10 operations were performed.

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