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 provide clean water for sanitation and work to prevent childhood blindness, supporting three key hospitals. We are proud to partner with major funders including Seeing is Believing (SiB) and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust who are key contributors to our success.
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 2016, our partners:
- Examined over 230,000 patients
- Performed more than 5,500 sight-saving surgeries and 3,300 other eye-related surgeries
- Trained more than 600 staff and volunteers in primary eye health
- Reached 1.5 million people through public awareness
2016 was especially beneficial for children, and our Peek Vision program, co-founded in 2014 by Dr. Hillary Rono from Kitale District Hospital and Dr. Andrew Bastawrous, was scaled up in the Trans-Nzoia County. PEEK (Portable Eye Examination Kit) is a smartphone mobile application. This eye examination tool used by teachers, is already revolutionizing eye screenings in Kenya. Funded by SiB, we screened more than 40,000 students across 70 schools, and nearly 870 of the children were treated for various eye health issues in Trans-Nzoia County.
Kenya’s Child Eye Health Project, also funded by SiB, works to improve eye health services and access for children. In 2016, more than 67,000 children were screened in schools and health facilities, and 3,000 children were treated for various eye health problems.
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!