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Vision Excellence Awards: Ciku Mathenge

Ciku Mathenge

Dr Ciku (Wanjiku) Mathenge is a highly trained senior consultant ophthalmologist with subspecialty training in medical retina and community ophthalmology. She is a Kenyan by Nationality but now lives in Rwanda permanently. She has a legacy of successfully transforming a public eye clinic in Nakuru Kenya into one of the best run facilities in the country making it a centre of innovation in both clinical care and research. She is a Professor of Ophthalmology at the University fo Rwanda.

She was the first certified trainer for Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey methodology in Africa. She also designed and set up the East African Eye Care program for the Fred Hollows Foundation which she supported for 15 years as Medical Advisor for Africa before joining Orbis International in the same role. She worked as a lead consultant with WHO AFRO Regional office to develop a package of eye care interventions for primary level health workers. She also led in the development of a primary eye care curriculum for Rwanda. As a trainer she has trained several ophthalmologists in the region in microsurgery including small incision cataract surgery. She was the Head of Department of Ophthalmology at the Kigali Health Institute before joining Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, a Centre of excellence in Eye Care for East and Central Africa. She is a Director and Co-Founder of the Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology (RIIO) an eye care not for profit organisation that provides training, research and community services in the region. RIIO recently conducted a National survey of blindness in Rwanda and runs the first ophthalmology residency training in Rwanda accredited by COECSA.

Ciku is an Honorary Senior Lecturer of the University of Cape Town. She has published extensively with one of the most cited publications being the only population based study on age related macular degeneration in Africans. She regularly reviews articles in several peer reviewed ophthalmic journals. Ciku served on the Advisory panel of the International Council of Ophthalmology(ICO) for 4 years is currently the only African serving as a member of the ICO Board of Trustees.