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Eye Health Hero: Keitumetse Thamane

Keitumetse Thamane has over five years of experience in eye health and has worked as the key liaison between the Botswana-University of Pennsylvania Partnership and the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness, working within the National Eye Health Office.

Before that, she worked in the Ministry of Health and Wellness for two years, where she co-led the successful 2016 Peek Pilot Project in Goodhope, Botswana, in which almost 13,000 school children were screened and received appropriate treatment when needed. This programme was the forerunner to what is now a national School Eye Health programme in planning.

She also played an instrumental role in the day to day management of the Botswana Cataract Campaign in partnership with Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, to restore sight to over 6,000 people who were known to be visually impaired or blind and awaiting cataract surgery. As a result of this campaign, Botswana now has the second-highest cataract surgical rate in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keitumetse now works to deliver Peek Solutions to different countries including Pakistan, Uganda and Ghana, by providing programme design support, training and project delivery support. She has translated her experiences to date into programme improvements in multiple countries, such as Uganda, Ghana and Pakistan.

Keitumetse is a highly motivated individual and the insightful actions she takes each day help Peek support its partners to deliver more efficient, more effective and more equitable eye health programmes.

“I first fell in love with my work when, after weeks of planning, long hours spent on the road and weeks of being on the field, I could finally witness the true impact of the work I do, a child’s shy face lighting up because they can see the world as clearly as they are meant to. And from then on, that has always remained at the centre of the “why” of my work, seeing the faces of people who get to see the world a little bit more clearly, be it a child or an elderly person.”

– Keitumetse Thamane