Help give the miracle of sight to children and adults in Bungoma County, Western Kenya.
People who need eye care have to travel 60-100kms for specialist eye treatment. That is a journey of many hours on public transport, and the fare is just too expensive for most Kenyans. Sadly, many in the county are forced to go without treatment.
For this reason, there are many children and adults in Bungoma County living with avoidable blindness.
For children, blindness means they are unable to participate in most activities, and most are unable to attend school. Their future is bleak. Many become depressed and isolated, having to rely on others for care their entire lives.
For adults, blindness can mean unemployment, and dependence on others – often it means their children must drop out of school to provide care or bring in an income. It sentences whole generations to deep and hopeless poverty.
It is sad to think of all this pain and suffering in Bungoma County, when here in New Zealand we have the benefit of good healthcare. For us, avoidable blindness is usually picked up and treated early.
Over 43% of Kenya’s population lives in poverty. Western Kenya in particular has a high proportion of people living in poverty who face significant health challenges including eye diseases and conditions such as cataracts.
There are few hospitals in Western Kenya and they are situated too far away for many people seeking treatment for eye diseases such as cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors. The cost of transportation is unaffordable for vulnerable people who live in poverty particularly those with disabilities, children and the elderly.
WHAT YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT CAN HELP FUND
- Upgrades to two County Eye Health Centres. Including supply of testing and surgical equipment and recruiting of further Eye Health staff if needed.
- Regular eye health screening of school age children and adults. Providing necessary specialist treatment and provision of glasses.
- Cataract operations to adults and children.
- Increased community awareness on the importance of good eye health and receiving regular checkups.
- Further training of community health workers and volunteers to provide a stronger referral pathway between local communities and the national health system.
Your generous support to this programme will strengthen these County Eye Health Centres, enabling them to provide local communities with the high level of eye health screening they need. The facilities will also be left in a strong sustainable position to continue to deliver these vital services into the foreseeable future.