To increase the number of local ophthalmologists working in Rwanda, with your help cbm NZ has been supporting Dr David Muhire Karama at the Kabgayi Hospital. In 2018 he performed an astonishing 2,397 eye surgeries, including 1,209 cataract operations of which 116 were on children.
Here’s his story...
My name is Muhire Karama David. I am currently working as an Ophthalmologist at Kabgayi Eye Unit in my homeland Rwanda.
I became interested in Ophthalmology when I was in Medical School at the University of Rwanda. One day, when I passing by the eye clinic at Butare University Teaching Hospital, I was amazed by the excitement of patients blinded by cataract who could see again after surgery was performed on them. I remember seeing patients hugging the surgeon, who was from the United States of America. I later asked the surgeon if I could watch him perform cataract surgery. He agreed without hesitation. From that day onward I decided to become an Ophthalmologist so that I would be able to help patients suffering from unnecessary blindness.
For the past 5 years, while working as an Ophthalmologist, I have developed a particular interest in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus, but cataract surgery has remained my number one field of interest. In Rwanda we have a big number of patients with avoidable blindness mainly caused by cataract. I am always encouraged to keep doing my job whenever I see happy patients after a sight restoring surgery from unnecessary blindness due to cataract.
The most fulfilling about my work is the impact we make on patient’s lives when their sight is restored. However Rwanda has a limited number of ophthalmic care providers, who are faced with large numbers of patients in need of ophthalmic services. I do believe that an increase in number of competent ophthalmic care providers is the main key to fighting avoidable blindness in Rwanda.
I am very happy to have chosen Ophthalmology. It is a very delicate and rewarding specialization. I hope to sub-specialize in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus, so that I may be able to help more patients with other critical eye problems in Rwanda.