Medics raise alarm over number of p****e going blind in Kajiado

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 13 Oct, 2022 17:21 | 2 mins read
Medics raise alarm over number of people going blind in Kajiado
Blind disabled signs. PHOTOS/Internet.

Kajiado county has 7,500 blind people according to the ministry of health.

According to medics, 80 per cent of the cases of blindness in Kajiado would have been prevented if those affected sort early treatment.

Speaking while marking the World Sight Day at Kajiado referral hospital, stakeholders say lack of awareness, poor eye hygiene, lack of equipped eye facilities and limited personnel have largely contributed to the alarming number of blindness in a county with a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

Trachoma is said to account for the high number of cases of blindness compared to cataracts and corneal diseases which are also common among the elderly population.

Poor hygiene due to limited water and flies associated with pastoralist environments is said to fuel Trachoma infections in rural villages with the majority of those affected unable to seek early diagnosis and treatment.

Vision restored

Earnest Wanyama, the deputy director of clinical services and national trachoma coordinator, said some cases of cataracts can be rectified and those affected regain partial vision.

"Lack of awareness has been a burden in managing eye complications. The high cost also makes the vulnerable in society not to seek the services. The government is committed to eliminating trachoma and other eye complications which currently stand at about 10 million people," Wanyama said.

He noted that the government in partnership with other stakeholders are committed to ensuring the accessibility of eye services to reduce the burden of blindness that leads to major social-economic challenges.

Operation eyesight county CEO Alice Mwangi said the organization is focused on door-to-door eye check-ups in rural areas.

The organization in collaboration with another private entity (CBM) has offered to build a Ksh100million state-of-the-art eye clinic complex and equip it with Ksh22milliion equipment. It has also sponsored five students from Kajiado County currently undergoing a two-year ophthalmologist course.

Kajiado governor Joseph Ole Lenku said the eye clinic will serve as a saviour to residents who have been grappling with the challenge of access to eye services.

"Eye complications are evident in our rural schools going by the number of children putting on glasses. Preventive measures are key in ensuring eye wellness among our population. The County is committed to working with partners to ensure we are able to end these conditions," Lenku said.

The entire Kajiado County has 6 ophthalmologist personnel. The eye complex is set to be complete in six months.

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