A non- governmental organisation in partnership with the national and county government has initiated a programme to provide eye health care services in schools in Meru for early treatment.
The Australian organisation known as Fred Hollow Foundation will work with the Ministry of Health, County and public health department, Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Ministry of Education and Chuka referral hospital to provide eye health care services to all schools in the county.
They aim to provide high quality eye health treatment to avoid cases of unnecessary blindness that may be prevented in the early stages if diagnosed early.
Speaking to the media, the organisation Senior Programmes Manager Carmichael Nduri said that they are aiming to ensure young children have been tested for any eyesight problem for early diagnosis.
“We want to ensure we do eye tests to young children to determine any problem that can be treated early before it worsens,” he said
Together with their partners, they are targeting all schools to offer free eye treatment, he noted, adding that no student should be left behind.
“We want every student from primary to secondary to be tested and treated for any eye problem for free. We are practicing universal healthcare, no child should be left behind,” he said.
Nduri disclosed that so far they have worked with 19 counties to ensure everyone has access to high quality and affordable eye health care and services to achieve avoidable blindness.
The organisation aims to prevent any eye problem that may be caused by various diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and uncorrected refractive errors.
The manager revealed that they will continue to work with the national and county government to provide equipment to hospitals as well as training eye doctors, clinical officers and nurses.
He added that they will also be working with community health volunteers to reach the grass roots.
“We want to reach the community at grass roots level to start with prevention before treatment,” he said
A health Officer from Tharaka Nithi County government, Johnson Njuku Muthami, said they are working with the foundation to ensure preventive blindness through early treatment of those suffering from poor eyesight.
The officer noted that their main target is school going children adding that they want to ensure the services reach all students in schools.
“We want to ensure this services reach the young children in schools so we can treat those suffering from eye problems early enough to avoid the condition getting worse,” he said
He added that they will be giving reading glasses to students with eyesight problems and those with severe cases will be taken to hospitals for further treatment.
By Sharon Gitau