The Issues

Blindness in Kenya is a terminal condition. Going blind can mean the end of education, employment and independence. A child who is unable to read a chalkboard or book is unable to learn. An adult is unable to support their family. The life expectancy of those who become blind in Kenya is only six years. Across Africa more than three million people are classified as blind simply because they do not have a pair of glasses. Of all eye health issues 80% are avoidable or treatable.  

 

 

 

 

 

The medical conditions causing poor eyesight and/or eye health include:

  • Refractive error (Short/Long sight)

  • Glaucoma

  • Injuries

  • Vernal conjunctivitis

  • Cataract

  • Diabetes

  • HIV

Many of these conditions are treatable. In Kenya, eye care clinic quality is normally very poor and unsafe. The eye care profession isn’t regulated. Poor eye health is further exacerbated by the climate and local environment due to being located close to the equator. The high level of sunlight and dust from the dry climate both cause eye conditions and aggravate them further. In addition, there is a cultural stigma associated with wearing sunglasses, so many people don’t wear them. 

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