The County Government of Uasin Gishu in collaboration with Ministries of Health, Education and Operation eye sight universal has launched an eye care centre for pupils in screening eye sight related problems and offering them free treatment in a bid to restoring sight and preventing blindness.
Speaking during the launch, Dr. Fatma Some on behalf of the Board Chairperson Operation Eye Sight Universal reiterated they are committed to offer eye care problems as they believe with healthy eyes and good visual pupils are in a better place to achieve their dreams and interact freely with others in bettering their social lives.
“This is one of our life transforming projects and the School Eye Health Program is aimed at solving persistent eye problems that pupils face. When people suffer from poor eye health, their quality of life is diminished and the cycle of poverty is perpetuated,” said Dr. Fatuma.
She reiterated that when eye problems are addressed earlier through screening it gives pupils courage to work hard and smart in actualizing their dreams through good academic performance, adding that pupils have the right to sight, right to education and right to a self-fulfilling environment.
Through this program, she explained, they have actively involved teachers and so far they have trained 20 of them. The have also screened 400,000 learners out of which 2002 have been referred for specialized treatment at the Moi Teaching and referral hospital (MTRH). Five have undergone specialized surgery and 95 have received free eye glasses.
The county Executive for Health Dr. Evelyne Rotich reiterated that their collaboration with Operation Eye Sight Universal began in March 2016 which saw the number of people seeking eye healthcare services rising tremendously.
“About 110 ,000 persons have so far been screened in three sub counties out of the six sub counties, 70,000 have received various forms of interventions ranging from surgeries to optical services. The Operation Eye Sight Universal support has been vital in promoting eye healthcare in the county and will have a lasting impact in the end,” said Rotich.
Dr. Michael Gichangi, Ophthalmologist at Ministry of Health Kenya indicated, “When you invest in restoring Eyesight of citizens, you support programs that provide quality care to all in the communities and regardless of age, gender receive urgently needed eye health care, and entire communities become healthier and more resilient.”
He disclosed that the ministry is committed to ensure all the pupils in Uasin Gishu are screened and assisted through Operation Eye Sight Universal in creating demand for these services by encouraging eye health-seeking behavior and empowering communities to take responsibility for their eye health needs.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago hailed such programs that promoting healthcare among citizens by empowering them to seek treatment through necessary assistance as many people are suffering from eye sight problems and eye screening services should be available to all even in rural and unreachable areas.
“As the Chairman of North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) I request the ministry of education and that of health to take such programs seriously and support them not only in this county, but across all the counties in Kenya. I am asking all the governors to adopt this program. It is one that has positive impact in the region and country at large,” said Mandago
Operation Eyesight an international development organization founded in 1963 and committed to realizing sustainable eye health treatment, blindness prevention and community development to create a better life for people now and into the future.