, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – Standard Chartered Bank has donated a consignment of eye health equipment worth Sh20 million in an initiative to enhance the quality of eye care services.
The four-year project which targets 4 million children aged below 15 years will see 22 hospitals countrywide benefit from the equipment which will provide quality healthcare services in rural areas.
Director of Medical Services Nicholas Muraguri says this project will improve child health and reduce avoidable blindness among children as Kenya aims for the attainment of Millennium Development Goals.
“This equipment will help us open new facilities where Kenyans can be able to access quality eye care. With simple surgery they will be able to see again and able to fulfil their potential. We are committed to ensure that avoidable blindness can be prevented and Kenyan children will be able to contribute to their growth and their potential,” he said.
“We are also committed to ensuring that we provide these services everywhere. The funds will be used in partnership with Christian Blind Mission to sponsor cataract, glaucoma and trauma related surgeries for needy children under the age of 15 at all identified hospitals.”
The donated equipment includes eight retinoscopes, eight rechargeable direct ophthalmoscopes, two indirect ophthalmoscopes, microscopes, free spectacles and 11 sets of titanium cataract instruments to all the hospitals.
The donation is part of the of the Sh400 million four-year commitment the bank made last year towards child eye care in East Africa.
Speaking at the handover, Standard Chartered General Manger East Africa Lamin Manjang says the project will ensure that children who cannot be medically or surgically treated are given support and educational opportunities by ensuring clinical equipment are in place.
“Without effective intervention the number of blind people in the world will increase to 76 billion by 2020. Avoidable blindness is not just a health issue but also an economic issue. For many, going blind can mean the end of their education, their livelihood and their jobs. They have fewer opportunities to provide for their families and the community. These are shocking statistics and that is why we are supporting this initiative,” he said.
The hospital beneficiaries include Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Coast General Hospital, Nyeri and Garissa Provincial Hospitals, Kitale, Narok and Malindi District Hospitals.
The initiative has earlier helped restore sight for over 4,500 children in Kenya.