A couple weeks ago you may recall we highlighted the impact made possible by people like you in Ghana, where now thousands of people have been given the gift of sight. This week, we want to highlight all the amazing work we were able to achieve in Kenya, again thanks to generous supporters like you! For more great stories, you can read our full Report to Donors 2016. Stay tuned for updates on Zambia next!
Our Kenya programs created a tremendous impact in 2016, especially those benefitting children. Together with Seeing is Believing (SiB) and other organizations, we continued an innovative Child Eye Health project to reduce avoidable blindness and visual impairment in children. In 2016, we focused on service delivery, clinical assessment, field monitoring, advocacy and sustainability. We screened over 67,000 children for eye health problems and treated more than 3,000 children. We also assisted with ophthalmic clinical officer assessments and participated in advocacy meetings with educators. With targets and sustainability strategies now in place, the Child Eye Health project was handed over to the ministries of health and education, who will provide continuous eye care services for children.
Thanks to our GivingTuesday 2015 donors, we screened nearly 20,000 students from over 40 different schools in Narok County in 2016. Over 500 students were treated for various eye conditions. Teachers and ophthalmic clinical officers also educated students on eye health and sanitation.
With our partners, we scaled up the PEEK school screening program in Trans Nzoia County. PEEK (Portable Eye Examination Kit) is an application enabling teachers to screen students for vision problems using a mobile phone. Thanks to funding through SiB, we implemented the PEEK system at Kitale Eye Unit and two satellite clinics, and provided refresher training for teachers who had been part of our pilot project the previous year. In 2016, over 40,000 students were screened across 70 schools, and nearly 870 of the children were treated for various eye health issues.
With support from SiB, we continued to strengthen our community outreach programs in the former Rift Valley Province. In 2016, over 100,000 patients were screened for eye problems. In collaboration with the county government, we established a new eye unit at Huruma Sub-County Hospital. We also supported training for three ophthalmic nurses and one cataract surgeon.
And finally, with support from The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, we continued implementing the SAFE strategy to eliminate the blinding eye disease trachoma. Working with Narok County Referral Hospital, we trained 121 community health workers as Trachomatous Trichiasis (TT) case finders to help identify those suffering from the late stage of the disease, refer people for surgery and follow up with patients. Over 41,000 people were screened for TT, of which 358 were identified and 273 received surgeries. We also educated 15 school communities on sanitation and eye health, and trained 30 community health volunteers to facilitate Community-Led Total Sanitation programs. This resulted in the construction of 11 new latrines, increasing latrine coverage by 24 percent in the targeted communities.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Just how much good we can do together? So much work has already been done, but there’s still a lot more to do! To help us continue our work in Kenya, please consider making a gift through our Gift Guide. No gift is too small! Together we can eliminate avoidable blindness – For All the World to See!