THE KENYA RURAL BLINDNESS ERADICATION PROJECT

A project update

By Dr. Mukesh Joshi

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Added on April-26-12

On the 14th and 15th of April 2012, the Rotary Club of Nairobi carried out another free eye camp for patients from Kericho, Homabay, Kapsabet and Kisii. 500 patients were identified having cataracts and out of these 165 cataract operations were done due to constraints of funds.

The eye camp was organized by Honorary Rotarian Dr. Mukesh Joshi, Rtn Salim Fazal (Co-ordinater), Rtn David Hastie (Financial Controller) and a team of ophthalmologists: Dr. Jafferji (Kikuyu Eye Hospital) and Dr. Onsomo (Nakuru).

This Eye Camp was partly sponsored by Kenya Ear Association; Dr. Manu D’cruz and Dr. Manu Chandaria.

BACKGROUND

Dr. Manduku (Hema Hospital) with ‘Rtn. Salim Fazal (Co-Ordinator of eye camp), Dr. Mukesh Joshi (Honorary Rotarian), Nimisha and Manisha (Volunteers) and ‘Rtn David Hastie (Financial Coordinator of eye camp)Since 1985, the Rotary Club of Nairobi has been running the Kenya Rural Blindness Eradication Project, where we go to the rural areas and screen the blind patients having Cataract and then perform Cataract operations at a nearby school or mission hospital. Here we travel with full ophthalmic team, theatre equipments and set up makeshift operation theatre to perform the cataract operations. We find that this project is the viable solution to eradicating blindness in rural areas such as Eldoret, Makumu, Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu, Kericho, Kaptagat, Nyeri, Thika, Kabrah, Eldama Ravine, Chogoiya, Kapimguya, Kisii e.t.c.

This project was initiated by Rotarian Manu Chandaria, Rotarian Jerry Owuor and Honorary Rotarian, Dr. Mukesh Joshi in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Marburg- Schloss(Germany) and others in Belgium and Netherlands and Rotary Club Of Seoul (South Korea). We have done 10 000 free Cataract operations by now and we intend to continue this activity, as there are more than 100,000 blind patients waiting for cataract operation.

The Rotary Club of Nairobi is also conducting free corneal transplant operations for Keratoconus patients. Keratoconus is a disease where the cornea becomes out of shape and if not treated on time then the cornea can perforate giving rise to white cornea which is known as Hydrops. The Rotary Club of Nairobi is performing free corneal Transplant operations for poor patients.

CORNEAL TRANSPLANT BY LASER

Patient with a mature cataractRecently, we have seen a major breakthrough in technology of Corneal Transplant assisted by laser, also known as CLAT (Laser Assisted Corneal Transplant) for the first time in Africa and Asia. CLAT is where 1000Htz Laser will remove the irregular cornea and will leave the patients thin layer of the cornea behind. In a similar way the donor cornea will be sculpted by the laser so that it will match like a jig-saw puzzle and the cornea is fitted on the recipient with a few stitches inserted.

The Rotary Club of Nairobi, in conjunction with the Swiss Embassy, has embarked on doing Laser Assisted Corneal Transplants for patients who cannot afford the procedure.

Dr. Joshi and his team have performed more than 14000 free cataract operations and over 100 free corneal transplants.

"We are grateful to Alcon Pharmaceuticals, Surgical Design, Oertli, Zeiss, Duckworth and Kent, and Moria for their generous donations of equipment and disposables."

A Rotary volunteer is preparing patients for the cataract operationHOW YOU CAN HELP

A donation of Ksh 5000 per patient will save the sight of a blind patient.

Please make out your cheque to:

  • Rotary Club of Nairobi (Eyecamp project)

Click here to see pictures of an eye camp in our photo gallery

 


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