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Get Early Eye Screening to Avoid Preventable Blindness, Kisii Residents Told

Kisii residents have been encouraged to have their eyes screened early to avoid possible blindness.

Doctors led by the County Director of Medical Services, Geoffrey Otomu said most eye problems could be treated at their initial stages and stop blindness.

Speaking during a free eye screening and testing to mark this year’s World Sight Day 2017 at the Kisii County Assembly, Dr Otomu asked MCAs to encourage the people to prioritize the health of their eyes.

Organizers sought to target the County Assembly members since according to them information can diffuse through to their electorate.

Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital CEO, Dr Enock Ondari said the event targeted to raise awareness to the public on the importance of undertaking eye screens so as to be able to seek timely medical interventions and address any risks that may lead to blindness.

The day is celebrated globally on every second Thursday of October.

Deputy Governor Joash Maangi who opened the free clinic challenged everyone to take up the initiative and develop the habit of being screened regularly so as to contain any dangers that may arise.

"Awareness is our biggest challenge since our people in the villages are not aware of such kind of services. Through the MCAs this message will pass to them easily," Maangi said.

At the same time, Maangi noted that the County Government of Kisii spends up to 50 per cent of its annual budget on healthcare where a big chunk goes to provision of preventive healthcare.

"It against this backdrop that we encourage our people to undertake various tests so as to contain any diseases before they go out of hand," Maangi continued.

He also added that the county government has made an elaborate plan to get members of the public who cannot afford to pay towards the NHIF scheme covered through legislation in the County Assembly.

Maangi said: “NHIF is quite affordable these days, so I ask our MCAs to encourage their people to enroll in large numbers. Those who cannot afford, the county government have an elaborate plan to get them covered.”

County Assembly Speaker David Kombo lauded the exercise noting that a healthy County Assembly member will be more productive and serve their people well.

"I urge MCAs to take up the opportunity and get screened to know their eye status and look for help," advised Kombo.

Dr Ondari said they resolved to conduct the free clinic at the assembly precincts so that members can be agents of disseminating the message to the people at the grassroots.

Apart from eye screening, other tests like blood sugar, diabetes, blood pressure were offered.

The exercise was being organized by the Kisii Eye Hospital in conjunction with Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, the Kisii Lions Club, Kenya Medical Association and the Galaxy Hospital.