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Over 900 residents benefit from free eye check-up

More than 900 residents of Likuyani Constituency in Kakamega County have benefited from a free eye clinic sponsored by Innocent Mugabe Foundation and the Sabatia Eye Hospital.

The free consultation and checkup at Likuyani Primary School saw hundreds of residents screened for eye-related disorders and those with extreme cases referred to Sabatia Eye Hospital for surgery.

Speaking during the event, Likuyani Member of Parliament Innocent Mugabe said the free medical camp targeted poor residents with eye problems, who are unable to travel to distant hospitals for check-up or fear the cost implications.

Mugabe urged the national and county governments to invest more in visual health as the number of those with eye disorders keeps on increasing globally.

He said: “The large number of people that has turned up for the free eye check-up  is a clear indication that eye related ailments are on the increase not only in Likuyani but  countrywide.

“Henceforth both the national and county governments need to enhance provision of visual health.

“Most of the people who came up for check-up are not aware of what is affecting them, because only a few health facilities offer eye check-up and treatment services.

“My appeal therefore is that the two levels of government need to invest more on visual health so that when an individual has an eye problem he/ she can be attended to immediately before the problem becomes incurable.”

The lawmaker said most children especially those in school are becoming victims of eye disorders and if the problem is not checked early enough, the number of the visually impaired will continue increasing amidst us.

“We must appreciate Sabatia Eye Hospital for accepting to participate in the free medical camp and attending to residents. We want these services to be offered in our local health facilities so that residents don’t have to wait for medical camps to be treated,” Mugabe
Residents who benefited from the free check-up lauded the MP for the initiative saying most of them especially the aged ones are suffering in silence.

Grace Nafula, a beneficiary of the free check-up said she has had eye aches for a long time without receiving treatment.

“We appreciate our MP. I have never gone to hospital for check-up due to lack of money. However, today we have been screened together with my 12 year old child and drugs prescribed to us,” she said.

Another beneficiary, Alfayo Imbukwa also said it was worthwhile bringing the clinic closer to them.

“We are extremely happy. Some of us have received eyeglasses; others have been given drugs, while those with serious cases have been referred to Sabatia for operation,” he stated.

Jane Osango a medic with Sabatia Eye Hospital discouraged the public from using any kind of drug to treat their eye ailments without a specialist’s prescription.
She said eye disorders vary from one individual to another, hence there are individuals who can be cured by medicine depending on the disease, and others can be assisted by eyeglasses, while others require rehabilitation through an operation.

“We have a variety of eye diseases. Let us stop borrowing drugs from friends or relatives anytime we have eye problems, but rather visit specialists.
“It is not medically safe to use someone else’s medicine because it cured him or her when they had a related sickness. You might use the drug and end up destroying your eyes to the extent of becoming blind.

There are also instances where we go to chemists to purchase prescribed eye drugs, but when we reach there we are told we don’t have that drug but there is an alternative one. This is also very dangerous to your visual health. The best option therefore is to visit a specialist,” she said.

Osango attributed most eye problems especially in children to allergy.

She said allergy is caused by many issues including cold, smoke, dust while other persons experience it during crop pollination noting that if not properly managed it can lead to blindness.

Likuyani Ward Representative Brian Mafunga expressed worry that poverty is preventing most people from going for medical check-ups.

“We have a lot of poverty especially in the rural areas. Every time one wishes to go for check-up they get discouraged by the high costs involved. However, my appeal to residents is that they should register with NHIF which will enable them handle some of the health challenges,” he advised.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait

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