Lokitaung Sub-county Hospital in Turkana North has operationalized its first operating theatre and eye clinic.
The project, implemented by the County Government of Turkana in partnership with Spanish Eye Doctors through MCSPA – Missionary Community of Saint Paul Apostle – under the Turkana Eye Project, includes two operating theatres, one minor theatre, six-bed pre-operation and six-bed post-operation.
The operating theatre is expected to reduce the number of surgical-related referrals and minor ophthalmic ailments to Lodwar County Referral Hospital.
Before the official opening of the Turkana Eye Project, Turkana Governor, Josphat Nanok, had carried out an outreach programme in Turkana North and Kibish between 5th and 30th September.
The outreach managed to screen 211 patients, out of which 62 were referred for surgeries in the new Lokitaung operating theatre.
According to the County Ophthalmic Services Coordinator, Samson Lokele, the eye camp began on the 8th to 13th October, whereby 130 patients were treated at the eye clinic in addition to the 62 surgeries done by local and Spanish volunteer ophthalmologists.
Apart from being the first in Turkana North, communities from neighbouring Ethiopia and South Sudan, will also benefit from the facility, which is part of County Government’s effort to promote peaceful co-existence and good neighborliness.
Living in a remote village in Naturomoe in South Eastern part of Ethiopia, Atirr Lokai’s life took a dramatic turn when a growth started in her right eye which also started itching, including the surrounding part of the face.
Suffering from terrible headaches as a result, she went to her parish priest for pain killers to ease the pain.
“For three months, my headaches prevented me from even doing house chores or milking. If it were not for the Father bring me to this hospital, I would still be in pain,” she said through a translator.
On the last day of the eye camp, the 65-year-old Attir was patient number 57 to undergo an eye operation in the newly constructed operating theatre.
She was among the six patients from the Nyang’atom community on the Ethiopian side of the border. Already discharged, Attir heads back home, which is a 12-hour drive from Lokitaung, to join her family.
“I’m very happy that there are no more headaches and at home now, I can continue with my responsibilities as before,” glad Attir said.
By Peter Gitonga