Give the miracle of sight to Bungoma County, Western Kenya – which has a population of over 1.7 million – and no fully functioning eye hospital!
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.
Locating an eye clinic with a hospital in Malaha will improve access to much needed eye care. The provision of a vehicle will also improve eye health and prevent blindness by making screening and follow up possible for the most vulnerable.
WHAT YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT CAN HELP FUND
Supporting the eye care programme in Western Kenya by with the following activities:
- Construction of an eye unit (including eye care professionals, building and equipment) to provide daily eye care services.
- Providing a wide range of eye care services including surgeries, medication for conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, eye infections and allergies and the provision of glasses.
- Resourcing the clinic with eye care consumables.
- Supporting outreach eye clinics to provide services to hard to reach people living in poverty within rural villages.