The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Indian Eye Hospital Opens in Rwanda

Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital, one of the global major eye centres, has started operations in the country following the government's Investment Road Show that took place in India in 2010.

The road show aimed at meeting potential investors in India to invest in Rwanda.

The Asian giant eye facility is located along Kigali city-Kimironko road just opposite Rwanda Natural resources Authority (former land centre) close to Kisementi.

Speaking to Sunday Times, Dr. John Nkurikiye, the hospital medical director, said that the Indian-based hospital has treated over 2000 eye patients since its inception last year.

"We treat all kinds of eye diseases. It's a specialist hospital where all complicated eye cases that have never been done in Rwanda are dealt with, for example, retina surgery, hi-tech cataract surgery, glaucoma, paediatric ophthalmology and corneal transplantation among others," he explained.

"We also do advanced eye investigational services. The aim of this hospital is to stop any referrals for eye treatment outside Rwanda. We have a network of more than 59 hospitals and a pool of 350 specialists so we can take from that pool, anytime we need, for a specialised care".

The hospital that has its headquarters in Chennai State, Southern India, started in 1957 and now has a network of 57 hospitals in India, Africa and Indian Ocean countries but with a plan to expand its presence in Europe, Asia and America.

Nkurikiye, who is also an Ophthalmic Surgeon, stated that Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital has already signed contracts with some of the health insurance schemes in the country.

He added: "Some of them have signed contracts with us, others have visited us and we expect contracts to be signed before the end of this month."

He further explained that the community health scheme, Mutuelle de santé, doesn't apply to private facilities but they were working with the Ministry of Health to allow people subscribed to mutuelle de santé access their services.

The Indian hospital has centres in other African countries such as Mauritius, Madagascar, Nigeria, Mozambique and Seychelles.

Rwanda was chosen to host the facility because of the country's conducive business environment that promotes private sector growth.

According to officials, 0.5 per cent of Rwandans are blind with most cases attributed to the cataract eye disease.

The Asian eye care centre has so far invested $6 million with plans to invest more in the next few years.

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