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Creating joy of eyesight in Kenya

Our first week went by so fast. We started screening students in primary schools in the Rift Valley. People are very poor in this area and now because of the dry season it is even harder for them to make a living. 

Dust resulting in eye problems

When we arrived at the schools after a very long and bumpy ride, we were aware of the dry season, because our cloths were completely covered in dust. This is also a cause of some of the eye problems people have here. Every day we came back filthy and even our teeth weren’t white anymore.

We left at eight o’clock every morning and immediately started screening after we arrived at the schools. We were accompanied by an ophthalmologist and she gave the children vitamin A when we were screening them on vision. A break or having lunch turned out not to be common here in Kenya and when we left the schools around three or four o’clock we were exhausted. But we did a good job, we screened 7 schools in total and already gave 60 focusspecs to the students with eye care problems. 

Yesterday it began to rain after a dry period of two months and eleven days. The locals were so happy and we also hope the dust will be gone soon.

70 Focusspecs® in one day!

This week we started working with HIV/aids patients at Ampath in a District Hospital in Eldoret. They provide medication and counseling for the infected people. Our contact person, Kauthar Bitok, arranged all the HIV patients to come to Eldoret. Some of them even came from very far, because they are in need of better eyesight. We saw 75 patients in one day and handed out 70 glasses to patients with eye care related problems. What a score! But this definitely shows the need of glasses in HIV/aids patients. Although the eye problems they have because of their illness are mostly infections and therefore not to be improved by glasses, they are in need of better eyesight. It is very important to them to be part of society and good vision is needed for that. The main problem is that they are very poor and all their money goes to medication for HIV. Therefore Focusspec® is a great solution, it is not expensive and gives everyone the chance to have to joy of better eyesight. 

Achievements

We were in Kenya for two weeks and saw almost 100 HIV patients and 1000 children in primary schools.  We gave away 150 reading glasses and 100 Focusspecs® to people with significant eye sight problems. There are still so many people who need glasses and therefore this area is perfect for another project of Focus on Vision!

 

Stephanie van Stigt Thans

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