In July I had the pleasure of travelling to Nairobi, Kenya to visit the work of IAPB members who are delivering accessible, available, and affordable eye health. It was also a great opportunity to gather with members from across Africa at our Regional Meeting to discuss our growing Love Your Eyes campaign.
Thanks to CBM, I visited the PCEA Kikuyu Hospital just outside Nairobi, where 2021 IAPB Eye Health Hero, Stella Waithera showed me around the eye health unit at the hospital. It was so insightful to have the opportunity to see, first hand, the work that CBM and hospital staff do to deliver quality eye care for patients. I spent time talking to Agnes and her daughter, for whom worsening eye health was impacting family life. Agnes has been in need of a cataract operation for several years and her sight has worsened progressively, leaving Agnes’ daughter with no option but to stop working to care for her mum. Thanks to the support of CBM and PCEA Kikuyu Hospital Agnes had a cataract operation that same day and was able to head back to her home to recover from her operation. It’s great to see real life-changing moments being facilitated by these procedures.
I also had the pleasure of travelling to Ruiru just outside Nairobi, to visit an eye camp run by our colleagues at City Eye Hospital and supported by The Fred Hollows Foundation. The sight screening attended to over 100 people that day with everything from uncorrected refractive error being diagnosed to cataract to diabetic retinopathy treatment. After diagnosis, patients who require urgent treatment are transferred to the City Eye Hospital in a bus donated by The Fred Hollows Foundation and Australian Aid.
All this work, and the work of IAPB members around the world, including in Kenya and across Africa is proof that we are able to deliver accessible, available and affordable eye health to those who need it most. It’s this proof that helps elevate our Love Your Eyes campaign and our calls on. governments and business around the world to ensure that accessible, available and affordable eye health is available to everyone.
While in Kenya I also had the opportunity to attend IAPB’s regional meeting taking place in Nairobi It was great to get the opportunity to speak more about our Love Your Eyes campaign and this years plans for World Sight Day. The best part of my job is meeting IAPB members and others from across the sector and hearing about their work and how working together we can achieve our goals. After all, it is only by working together we will achieve our 2030 in Sight strategic aims.
With thanks to IAPB Regional Chair Aaron Magava, CBM, PCEA Kikuyu Hospital, The Fred Hollows Foundation and Nairobi City Eye Hospital for hosting me and allowing IAPB to launch our Love Your Eyes campaign in Kenya.