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Photo: "Vision corridor" in a school in Uganda. Credit: Light for the World


For the first time in the history of the country, 10 optometry students received scholarships from the Government of Uganda ensuring acceptance of this new Bachelor’s Degree course. This will have a positiveinfluence in getting this new profession regulated as part of public service. Optometrists will play a leading role in supervision for uncorrected refractive errors, school eye health, low vision services, and blindness preventive diagnostics as well as referrals. Light for the World has financed the coordination and provided substantial funds for its infrastructure including a state-of-the-art teaching lab in partnership with ZEISS. Our project, the National Intervention for Uncorrected Refractive Errors (NIURE), with the goal of supplying people in Uganda with affordable and high-quality glasses, took a major step towards becoming self-sufficient and is already being used as a best-practice example for similar initiatives in other countries. 53,900 refractions have been carried out by NIURE trained refractionists, 2,756 people received subsidized spectacles and 34,805 school children were screened for vision problems in 2017. Our goal for 2018 and beyond is the full integration of the programme within the Government health care system.

Ophthalmic clinical officers trained as refractionists: none in 2008. 74 in 2016

In the last eight years a total of 12,302 spectacles have been produced, 113,808 refraction tests conducted and 128,668 school children screened. 14 optometrists are currently being trained at Makerere University.

Spectacles provided: 287 in 2010, 2,797 in 2016

Reported refractions: 5,219 in 2010, 29,292 in 2016

Map: Uganda
    • Area: 241,548 km2
    • Population: 37.6 million
    • Life expectancy: 59.2 years
    • Ophthalmologists: 41
    • Ophthalmologists supported by us: 3
Sander Schot -

Sander Schot

s.schot [at]

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