Dr Abdallah is a dedicated public health specialist and a leader in eye care in Rwanda who has been working in the eye health domain for over ten years. He has worked tirelessly for “available, accessible and affordable” eye care services everywhere and for everyone throughout his home nation of Rwanda as Rwanda Country Director for the UK charity, Vision for a Nation Foundation (VFAN). One of the central innovations of the foundation is a three-day training curriculum developed by Prof. Ciku Mathenge.
In 2016, as the foundation’s Country Director in Rwanda, Abdallah successfully led his team of eye care professionals through an unprecedented “Nationwide Community Outreach Programme” in all villages of Rwanda nearly 15,000 in collaboration with the Rwanda`s Ministry of Health. This built upon its earlier work in establishing eye care competency and capacity at each of the nation’s 500+ local health centers. As a result, nearly 2.5 million Rwandans were professionally screened for eye/vision problems in less than three years, with more than 1.3 million receiving medication, 200,000 receiving glasses, and an additional 200,000 having been referred to the next level specialists for more specific treatment. As such, his efforts have been recognized not only by the foundation’s Board of Trustees, but additionally by some of Britain`s most highly coveted awards programmes, including nation’s 2016 Charity Award in the category of “International Aid and Development” and the 2017 Bond International Innovation Award for VFAN’s outstanding work for “Innovation and Sustainable Primary Eye Care for Rwanda”. This success points to the potential for adding to Africa’s upward growth and prosperity trajectory by providing its people access to affordable and appropriate eye care. Rwanda demonstrates that it is possible; others now have the opportunity to follow.