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Mother and three children battling blindness appeal for help

KNA   Four family members including their mother from Emboruto village in Saimo Location, Baringo North Sub-county who are battling blindness are appealing for assistance from well-wishers.

The poverty stricken family is also challenged since two of their children are to sit for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination despite being partially blind and chances of them transiting to secondary school are slim due to financial constraint.

When KNA visited the family in the remote village along the edges of Saimo Forest, Wednesday, the mother of three, Zipporah Kemei was sitting outside lonely, in an old wooden bench, during a chilly foggy day as the husband who is a farm hand joins after an hour, while younger son and their second born daughter had been sent away to fend for the family.

Mrs Kemei, aged 55, who is totally blind, explains that her condition started with the left eye in 2013 before the other ‘switched-off’ three years later, saying she could not have lost her second eye if money was available to seek early specialised treatment.

She says that the new normal has made her to stay helplessly the whole day within the compound, waiting for the children to return from school in the evening to help perform house chores, she is also assisted to go to church on Sunday by her daughters who are also partially blind.

The totally blind mother who entered into marriage as a housewife, noted that even though she is worried because of the two daughters and last born son who have developed a similar condition and in need of urgent treatment, she is optimistic that the candidates will pass their exams.

“It’s been around five years of doing nothing productive, I now feel that if I can get capital I can support my jobless husband by putting food on the table,” she said.

The husband, Wilson Kipkemei, reiterated that he earns Sh 200 every day from casual jobs which is hardly enough to enable his family to eat a proper meal, let alone even pay the four family members to go for extensive checkup.

Grace Cherutich, in-law, recalls the time when Mrs Kemei, whom they used to be in the same women group, momentarily complained of poor vision, especially at night and would leave them early so that she reaches home before it gets dark.

Ms Cherutich revealed that a doctor has since advised the family that the eldest child among the three affected, should go for immediate treatment and acquire eye glasses but the family is unable to meet that cost.

Enock Kosgei, a brother to the husband, battling blindness, pointed out that the mother of three has already been registered for Cash Transfer programme, but that is hardly enough to cater the family medication and meals.

Kosgei who has been assigned by the family to be responsible for the welfare of his brother’s children, lamented that his family too has a sick child whose condition has taken toll of him, yet he had started negotiations with Emboruto Primary School Management to see to it that his brother’s children are enrolled in a special school where they can learn with ease.

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