ALLEVIATING HEALTH BURDEN

Marsabit residents benefit from free eye medical camp

Over 170 residents were screened while 74 underwent successful eye surgeries

In Summary

•  Dr Francis Ochienga an eye surgeon said the high prevalence of blindness and eye problems is due to poverty while cataracts is attributed to old age. 

• The five-day camp is in partnership with the Fred Hollows Foundation, Christoffel Blind Mission, Mission Aviation Fellowship and the Marsabit government.

Marsabit first lady Alamitu Jattani at a past event.
ALLEVIATING HEALTH BURDEN: Marsabit first lady Alamitu Jattani at a past event.
Image: ABDIKADIR CHARI

Hundreds of patients with eye complications received free treatment at the Marsabit General Hospital during a medical camp on Monday.  

More than 170 Marsabit residents were screened while 74 underwent successful eye surgeries.

The five-day  camp is in partnership with the Fred Hollows Foundation, Christoffel Blind Mission, Mission Aviation Fellowship and the Marsabit government.

Dr Francis Ochienga, an eye surgeon, said the high prevalence of blindness and eye problems is due to poverty while cataracts are attributed to old age.

The camp also aimed to raise awareness on eye diseases that lead to vision loss.

Marsabit first lady Alamitu Jattani urged residents to turn up in numbers saying the camp contributes to the sustainable development goals of poverty eradication and good health and well being of the people.

She said the camp will reduce cases of avoidable vision impairment, alleviate the suffering of underprivileged patients and improve eye health in the community.

Jattani said eye problems often go untreated with conditions like cataracts leading to blindness.

She said surgeries can have a huge impact on patients lives and improve their chances of living a dignified and healthy life.

The county's first lady also appealed to residents to take advantage of the cancer center in the county and go for screening. "Early detection saves many lives of those affected."

She said information and advocacy as well as timely health choices help ease the burden of cancer and ill-health.

Residents who attended the camp thanked the Marsabit government and well-wishers for providing free eye check-up and awareness.

Health executive Dr Jama Wolde tasked the county team to follow up with the cataracts patients and ensure surgeries are undertaken to restore their sight.

Galgallo Boru,  70, who underwent an eye surgery said he was struggling to see properly for long time but couldn't afford surgery.

"I was almost blind due to my eye condition. I thank the well-wishers and the Marsabit government for extending help to needy people like me at no cost," Boru said.

Another surgery beneficiary Abdi Guyo said he lost his eyesight years ago.

He said it had been a struggle as he had to be aided to go anywhere.

Similar eye medical camps were held in Marsabit last October but insecurity issues undermined their success.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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