Kenya

These Maasai men are waiting at a clinic for eye exams. Kenya’s Maasai people struggle with issues like distance, a lack of trained medical personnel, and blinding trachoma.

Kenya faces many obstacles to providing good eye care for its people, including a lack of eye care workers, a lack of ophthalmic equipment and a lack of consumables such as drugs. With a population of 40 million, the ratio of ophthalmologists to population is 1:450,000.

In Kenya, we support three key hospitals, provide clean water for sanitation and work to prevent childhood blindness. Today, we partner with major funders including Seeing is Believing (SiB) and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

In 2007, we built and equipped the eye unit at Kitale District Hospital, while also training hospital staff and primary eye care workers throughout the region. We also partner with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Narok District Hospital, providing infrastructure, equipment and training to both.

In 2014, our partners:

  • Examined nearly 286,000 patients
  • Performed over 6,000 sight-saving surgeries and over 1,000 other eye-related surgeries
  • Trained almost 800 staff and volunteers in primary eye health
  • Reached nearly 2.2 million people through public awareness

In 2014, Dr. Hillary Rono from Kitale District Hospital and Dr. Andrew Bastawrous – a co-founder of Peek Vision – embarked on a study to test the Portable Eye Examination Kit (PEEK) smartphone application. This mobile eye examination tool is already revolutionizing eye screenings in Kenya! The project, in the Trans-Nzoia County, is funded by SiB.

Kenya’s Child Eye Health Project, also funded by SiB, works to improve eye health services and access for children. In 2015, over 208,000 children were screened in schools and health facilities.

In Kenya, 7.3 million people live in trachoma-endemic areas and nearly 85,000 are at risk of blindness due to complications from trachoma trichiasis, a painful scarring of the inside of the eyelid. In addition, an estimated 379,000 children currently have active infection. There are approximately 250,000 people who are blind in Kenya, and 19 percent of this blindness is attributed to trachoma. In the Narok and West Pokot Districts, we drill wells and provide clean water to end this awful disease. Learn how you can help!