Eye Screening For Accident Reduction

Forty-six-year-old Allan Arika vividly remembers the day he lost his vision while driving at top gear with his family along the usually busy Kisumu-Kericho Highway.

He recounted how his sight suddenly blurred, and headache set in only for his wife to swiftly take control of the car, pulling over the road to avert a looming accident.

‘Had it not been for my wife’s timely intervention, it could have been tragic. I went to the hospital, got treated, and proceeded to Nakuru the following day,’ said Arika.

Arika who had never taken an eye test before is one among the four in every 1,000 whom Ophthalmologists say suffer from refractive error- a condition that occurs when the shape of one`s eye keeps light from focusing correctly on one`s retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye).

Today, he is among 1,000 people undergoing free eye screening in Nakuru at a free eye screening clinic organized by the Anglican Church Diocese of Nakuru and the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital.

The outreach coordinator at the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital Mr. Moses Kariuki said visual problems are increasingly common and people need to take regular eye check-ups once every year for corrective action.

Additionally, he demystified the common belief that if children start wearing spectacles at an early age, especially in nursery schools, they are bound to be blind. He emphasized that spectacles have positive aspects such as protecting eyes against dust and the negative effects of UV rays.

The eye camp received more than 1,000 patients of which medics established that 50 required cataract surgery. Hundreds of patients with eye conditions received free treatment.

Kariuki said besides screening, beneficiaries are educated about eye health and various types of spectacles and when to use them. Beneficiaries also received assistive devices and reading glasses.

Nakuru Anglican Church Diocese Bishop Joseph Muchai said the monthly clinic will enable people with visual problems to access checkups closer unlike in the past when they used to travel long distances for eye checkups.

Muchai said the program will mobilize members of the public through the church in a bid to reach out to people with eye problems in Nakuru and neighboring Counties.

He appealed to Nakuru residents to take advantage of the free clinic and have their eyes checked for visual problems.

Muchai noted that this initiative will also enhance partnerships among health practitioners in Nakuru County to tap into the extensive eye care network of experienced ophthalmologists, to improve service delivery.

‘The turnout at the medical camp is impressive and it is an indicator of the need for similar camps and outreaches to cover the large population in Nakuru. The camps will go a long way in attending to eye diseases which are avoidable, treatable, and preventable,’ he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency