Standard Chartered Bank rolls out eye health campaign

Standard Chartered Bank rolls out eye health campaign

Did you know that 39 million people across the world are blind? Worse still, an outrageous 90% of incidences of blindness in the developing world are avoidable.

Avoidable blindness is not just a health issue but also an economic crisis which if not handled with major intervention could increase to 76 million come 2020.

Every five seconds, we have someone going blind while every minute a child goes blind with 60% of other children die of blindness.

To tackle this issue, Standard Chartered Bank has launched an initiative dubbed Seeing is Believing. The bank will work with five community partners to prevent and treat cases of avoidable blindness.

The program, which targets children aged 0 to 15 years, takes in into consideration a holistic view of the child’s eye health. The partners will build the awareness about blindness, identify and correctly diagnose children for problems.

Clinical infrastructure will be put in place, and the partners will ensure home resources are availed to treat children with blindness and visual impairments.

Globally, the investment has seen the sight of over 8, 000 out of 114.8 million sight being restored.

Since its launch in 2003, the program has contributed to over 2.9 million cataract operations and surgical interventions, and treated 1.9 million people for river blindness.

It also distributed over 500,000 pairs of spectacles and helped to train over 100,000 health workers. In total, has reached over 45 million people through the provision of services to prevent and treat blindness, and educate communities about eye health.

In August last year, Standard Chartered Bank donated eye care equipment valued at KShs.18.5 million to the Ministry of Health. The money was used to purchase equipment that included slit lamps, auto refractors, refraction sets, lenses, spectacle frames, as well as low vision devices.

The hospitals that benefited from this initiative are Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Coast General Hospital, Nyeri and Garissa Provincial Hospitals, Kitale, Narok and Malindi District Hospitals.

The Seeing is Believing initiative also funded the expansion of eye clinics at Kapsabet, Kapenguria, Iten and Uasin Gishu district hospitals. The new clinics were well constructed with consultation rooms, mini theatres and state-of-the-art eye equipment.

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Story By Gathoni Jemimah
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