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Mary Kyale

Marygorrette Kyale has given exemplary and selfless service to communities in Kenya. She was among the first optometrists to be trained in her country Kenya at The Kenya Medical Training College. Her career began with Sight by Wings organization where she would organize mobile eye clinics in rural Kenya to provide eye care services to communities.

In her efforts to create awareness on eye health, she has played a key role with organizations such as Special Olympics Kenya where she provided eye screening to the physically and mentally challenged athletes. With her experience in organizing community based eye health medical camps, patient screening, prescription and visual aids dispensing, she has over the years worked closely with NGOs like Sight Aid international, JoyGuru Humanitarian Services and Rotary Clubs to take eye care services to the marginalized communities in Nandi, Kajiado and Narok Counties in Kenya. Under Essilor Good Vision on the Road program pilot in Kenya in partnership with Total Energies Kenya, she was in charge of vision screening and creating awareness among drivers on the importance of good vision while driving, to reduce road accidents.

Mary has been sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience by way of training. She is closely working with the Ministry of Education as the Chairperson of Sector Skills Advisory Committee Optical Sector; her responsibilities, just to mention a few included providing technical advice on occupational standards, assessment tools and training in the sector. Notably, she was part of the team that developed the current curriculum for training Higher Diploma in Optometry at Kenya Medical Training College. She has taken part in several curriculum review and implementation forums under the oversight of the Ophthalmic Service Unit.

Optometry being a young profession in Kenya, she contributed to bringing optometrists together to form the Optometrists Association of Kenya, that is currently in consultations with different Government agencies to regulate Optometry practice and recognition of the same. During her tenure as the Organizing Secretary for the organization, she was part of the team that started the development of the Optometry Scheme of Service that would eventually guide the Public Service Commission on absorption of Optometrist in the public service. Currently she is a member of the African Council of Optometrists (AFCO) Public Health Committee, representing her country association.

At Essilor, she also supported the Macho Bora Elimu Bora, school Eye Health program in Nakuru County where she was involved in training Community Health Volunteers, Vision Champions, teachers and a team of optometrists on vision screening to school going children.

She now focuses most of her efforts on developing the Eye Rafiki Optical Technician Program: a certified vocational training in visual health in which young people are trained to become primary vision care providers. She raises awareness about vision care, dialogues with stakeholders (including the representatives of the Ministries of Education and Health), ensures the program complies with local regulations, support the Eye Rafiki Institute in creating training materials, organizes vision-screening events and manages the day-to-day operations.

“My heart is where the community is, the marginalized, the underserved, the unreached and the socially challenged. As we all strive to achieve The Global Eye Health vision 2030, my conviction and hope is that no one should be left behind, we should all move together towards tomorrow.”

– Mary Kyale