Rwandan PhD student, Fiston Chitima, gave an update on the need for the Arclight Project in Africa, in support of which the St Andrews Rotary Club has been raising funds. An Assistant Lecturer in the University of Rwanda, Fiston spoke about eye-health world-wide and in Rwanda in particular. Across the world eye conditions are projected to grow in number as a result of increased ageing, negative changes in life-styles, and the increase of non-communicable diseases. Currently 90% of vision-loss is preventable or treatable. Fiston explained that since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda the country has seen a gradual transformation with new building projects and improvements in health care, including managing the Covid pandemic relatively well. Currently around 10% of the population suffers from some form of eye impairment and there is a shortage of eye-health workers. Arclight is a social enterprise based in the School of Medicine at St Andrews University which enables low income countries to equip, train and empower health workers of all grades to diagnose and manage eye disease. The equipment is easy to use, portable, runs on solar power and gives a precise diagnosis, all of which is invaluable in the search for improved eye health in Rwanda. Today’s talk was an illuminating update for the club on the valuable work done by the Arclight Project.Fiston and his wife and young child arrived in Scotland in the cold of March.
He is Andrew Blaikie's PhD student and an expert on Arclight.
Also at the meeting was Fiona Paterson, Arclight Project Manager at St Andrews University School of Medicine.
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