Until Kevin’s cataract surgery, life was dark and full of doubt. But because of kind-hearted donors, Operation Eyesight helped restore this little boy’s vision, turning his world of darkness to light.
Patients, dignitaries, eye health care staff and partners organizations joined the celebratory events for World Sight Day in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya on October 12.
Kevin, along with classmates and other grateful patients participated in the first-ever World Sight Day celebrations where he lives in Elgeyo Marakwet County. The full day began with a 1.5 km walk from Iten Referral Hospital to the Iten playground. The Simbolei Academy school band led the way, accompanied by children from the Chepsigot School of visually impaired. The Chepsigot children entertained the audience with songs and poems about eye health.
After the walk, an eye screening and treatment camp was held that screened and treated 368 patients. Another 78 patients were referred to the eye unit for further examination. Guests heard patient testimonies and key speakers from Operation Eyesight’s many partners.
Alice Mwangi, Operation Eyesight Country Manager, was proud to recognize Operation Eyesight’s partnerships, especially Standard Chartered Bank’s Seeing is Believing. “With the help of our partners, Operation Eyesight has renovated the eye unit that has screened more than 40,000 people and treated over 20,000 patients for various eye conditions.”
Mwangi says that in September 2017, 22 community health workers were trained to conduct door-to-door screening in Kapchemutwa ward. Since then, more than 20,000 people have been screened, helping us reach our goal of ensuring eye health care becomes part of regular health care.
Key guests at the event included:
• Deputy Governor of Elgeyo Marakwet County Mr. Wesley Rotich;
• Chief Officer of Health Dr. Titus Ayabei;
• Country Director of Medical Services Dr. Isaac Kipyego;
• Medical Superintendent of Iten Referral Hospital Dr. Castro Mugalla;
• Sub county Director of Education, Mr. William Kipchumba
The Chief Officer of Health, Dr. Titus Ayabei, announced the exciting news that the county government has established a sub-county eye unit in Chepkorio hospital. The government will provide staffing for the hospital, and he urged people to support the facility for much needed eye care equipment.
Ayabei encouraged people to go for regular eye checkups and Mwangi agrees. “I hope all our patients will help us help others by becoming eye health care ambassadors and creating community awareness about proper eye health care,” says Mwangi.
As for young Kevin, he’s grateful for having his sight back. “Thanks to my doctors, I’m not struggling anymore.”
You can help kids like Kevin by donating today.