We are performing over
sight saving surgeries per month
The DMH eye clinic and surgery currently provides eye services to approximately 300 people and at least 40 sight restoring and sight saving surgeries a month. The clinic is based at Dreamland Mission Hospital in Kimilili, western Kenya, an area where half the population live on less than $1.5 a/day. It is the only eye surgery available for at least a 2-hour drive. We accept any patient with eye problems that may harm or has harmed their sight. The majority of these are elderly patients, who are disabled by their sight loss. Restoring their sight gives them back a sense of hope and gives them power to return to work or become an active part of the family. The WHO has said that in Kenya eye surgeries are one of the most important healthcare interventions to help boost the economy. Our own in house eye team is led by Clement Kiprop, an excellent surgeon who was sponsored through his education and medical studies by a missionary family.
Surgery costs £92 per eye which includes initial consultation, surgery, overnight stay in hospital following surgery and follow up appointments. This includes all associated costs including staff wages. Patients who can afford it pay £10 (1350ksh) towards the cost of their treatment. Annually we do approximately 480 cataract surgeries.
This project focuses on the elderly with the majority of services being provided to an older population. This population are poor, but often key to the running of family units in Kenya. If they lose their sight there can be a huge knock on impact on the whole family, for example they may no longer be able to farm and provide food for the family. Although it is changing because of the work we have done, there has been a myth that if you lose your sight, then you are about to die. This changes dignity and respect the person has in the community. DMH wants to continue to change this, so that sight loss is feared less and is treated routinely as part of the care at DMH.
The majority of those that need surgery can’t see a hand moving in front of their eyes from a distance of 3 meters. They are almost totally blind. They require help with activities of daily living, often putting burden on other family members. For those with cataracts we can reverse this disability and literally “the blind will see”.
Although not a direct economic project, the provision of sight gives chances for a much improved economic future. We have seen this whereby teachers have returned to work, farmers have gone back to farming or children can go to school because they no longer have to look after their grandparent.
We believe through our surgeon Kiprop and his team we can provide a service that is not prejudiced, is not only for the rich and that truly benefits and transforms the lives of the poorest and hardest to reach communities.
Read Rasoa’s Story
“It all started when her vision went blurry.” Was what Rasoa’s youngest daughter told us. This problem started in the 2019 but her children did not take it seriously until she went totally blind. Rasoa’s blindness meant that one of her children had to move in with her as her full time carer.
Rasoa’s independence took a hit and her primary caregiver, and her daughter had a difficult time supporting her. Her son brought her to the hospital where, on assessment, it was discovered that Rasoa could only make out light and no solid shapes. As a result of this assessment, she was booked in to have her right eye operated on, this was done in January 2022. Rasoa had her left eye operated on 2 months later.
After the operation, Rasoa had her independence back, she did not need help with day-to-day tasks and was able to take care of herself again.
On a follow-up visit, the team found Rasoa sitting under a tree playing with her grandchildren, something that was not possible before her surgery. She saw the team and was immediately able to identify the colours of the clothes they were wearing. When a visual acuity test was done her left eye was functioning at about 2/3 of what would be expected from a normal eye and her right eye is functioning at about 1/2 of what would be expected. Considering that she arrived at DMH only able to see light this is a huge improvement. Her daughter says that she also has her independence back now as her mother does not need round-the-clock care.
The family is so grateful that their mother is recovering well and are so happy that she can now recognise them once again.
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All donations will go to the continued work of this project, thank you so much for your generosity.
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