How lessons from Rwanda could help China fix its myopia crisis

Students in China leave school after finishing their college entrance examination.

Dr. Agnes Binagwaho is the vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity. Trained as a pediatrician, she worked for over 20 years in Rwanda's public sector and was the country's minister of health for five years.

(CNN)President Xi Jinping recently described myopia as an epidemic affecting China's younger generations.

There are now an estimated 720 million Chinese citizens with uncorrected poor vision, according to Dr. Xun Xu at the Shanghai Eye Hospital. Short-sightedness increases dramatically with age; it affects over half of children aged 10, 80% of 16-year-olds and over 90% of university students in China.
But the Chinese government has the resolve -- and a five-year plan -- to eradicate poor vision and preventable blindness by delivering "universal medical eye care for all."
    It is a huge undertaking but worth doing, as treating myopia is more than just a health issue.