Friday, 06 May 2022 08:39

COG, MINISTRY OF HEALTH UNVEIL GERMAN-FUNDED 4-YEAR PROJECT TO SPUR UNIVERSAL EYE CARE IN COUNTIES

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The Council of Governors, the Ministry of Health, and the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) launched the Vision Impact Project on 21st April 2022 at the Safari Park Hotel.

The four-year project, co-funded by the Germany Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and CBM, is to be implemented in Vihiga, Bomet, Kiambu, Kajiado, Embu, Meru, and Kwale Counties.

The Project aims at accelerating Universal Eye Health Coverage through comprehensive, inclusive, integrated, and people-centered eye health services in Kenya. Through the project, CBM donated modern eye equipment and outreach vehicles to reach the communities in far-flung areas in the seven beneficiary Counties. In Kenya, it is estimated that about 7.5 million people are in need of eye health services ranging from age-related cataracts, diabetic complications in the eyes, refractive errors, trachoma, allergic eye diseases, and difficulties in reading among others. Out of this number, only 1.6 million Kenyans are able to access eye health services from both public and private facilities.

In recognition of the need to address these disparities and improve systems of delivery of eye care in Kenya, the CBM working with the Ministry of Health and the COG developed the Vision Impact Project. Speaking during the event, Council of Governors Chairman H.E Martin Wambora said that the project brings the country closer to the attainment of UHC through collaboration among partners of similar interests. “The launch of this project marks the consolidation of a true partnership between County Governments, CBM International, and the various national government ministries and agencies. The timing is right. This is another opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the achievement of UHC.”

In addition, the project will support the provision of high-end equipment for assessment, including screening for eye diseases (even in schools), detailed evaluation, treatment, surgery, and even rehabilitation for those with irreversible conditions, to optimize economic productivity. County Governments are committed to fulfilling requirements provided by the Constitution of Kenya that guarantee all Kenyans, including those with disabilities, the right to affordable and accessible quality healthcare. This includes Eye Care Treatment and management services.
In view of the above, County Governments are investing in technological innovations in the health sector through partnerships such as the Peek technology that is currently in use for the diagnosis of eye problems in schools.

County Governments will leverage the gains of public-private partnerships toward Universal Eye Health Coverage in Kenya and work collectively and collaboratively with other stakeholders to confront the barriers that hinder the full implementation of the National Eye Health Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025. Through the Council of Governors Maarifa Centre, the lessons learned in the seven beneficiary Counties shall be replicated in the remaining counties to ensure access to eye care services for all.

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