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.
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.