Diani Rules 2014 at Forty Thieves Beach Bar raised 550.000,- for Kwale Eye Center
Fantastik 550,000Ksh raised this weekend, which will enable the Kwale Eye Center for many Operation.
( The money raised by last year’s Diani Rules paid for 88 cataract operations )
Over twenty years of fundraising have achieved thousands of poor Kenyan people and their families have literally been given the Gift of Sight. The commonest cause of blindness in Kenya- cataract- can be surgically removed so the patient can see again!
A big thank-you goes to the organizers: Event Organizer-´- Iain Leckie, Raffle Prize Coordinator – Catherine, Team/Official Organizer – Kathy Robertson, Sponsor/Corporate Coordinator – Iain Leckie
Sponsors and teams include Heineken, Safaricom, DT Dobie, Civicon, Satao Camp, Base Titanium, Oserian, Swahili Beach and South Coast Backpackers. Hotels and local companies gave prizes for the raffle or auction and a percentage of the drinks was donated to the charity.
EYES FOR EAST AFRICA
Eyes for East Africa (UK) is a registered charity [No. 1053222], which was registered on 23rd February 1996. Its objects are: „To promote the relief, care and treatment of blind and partially-sighted people who are treated by Kwale District Eye Centre, Kenya“.
KWALE DISTRICT EYE CENTRE
The Kwale District Eye Centre operates in a poor rural district on the Kenya Coast. It was founded in 1993 by UK trained ophthalmologist Dr Helen Roberts. The aim of the Eye Centre is to provide affordable, accessible eye care to combat the totally unnecessary rate of blindness that occurs in the area. No patients are refused treatment. Donations are required, particularly to allow poor patients to undergo surgical procedures.
There are many cases of child and youth blindness, mainly preventable and symptomatic of poor diet and parental ignorance.
The most common cause of blindness is cataract, for which treatment is by surgery and the insertion of lenses.Since 1993, 72,000 new patients have been registered at the Centre’s base. This figure does not include all the patients seen, as many need to return for ongoing follow up and care. Many thousands of patients are still receiving support and eye care services both at base, in schools and in the field.In addition to the patients seen at the clinic, over 320,000 patients have been seen in the field. Over 30,000 eye operations have been performed most of which were sight restoring cataract operations. In remote parts of Kenya 24,000 patients have been treated . No patients are refused treatment. Donations are required, particularly to allow poor patients to undergo surgical procedures.
In addition to caring for patients, the Eye Centre also carries out research and training. It is an official training centre for the University of Nairobi, Department of Ophthalmology.
The centre is not just a clinic and operating theatre but runs an active „outreach“ service into the community…. particularly in the remote areas. This work is done by volunteers such as the village health committee members who are trained in recognising blindness and counselling those afflicted to attend for treatment.
The main barrier to people seeking help for their poor sight is an almost total lack of awareness that it can be treated and that treatment is available. People are also very afraid of any form of medicine – often preferring to see the witch doctor and reluctantly considering conventional medicine only when that fails. Poverty is also a major problem.
Despite this, last year over 10,000 patients were seen in screening clinics in remote „bush“ areas. The community based workers are now responsible for finding and referring half the cataract patients treated by the clinic. Patients often walk up to four hours to reach a field screening station. KDEC operates a variety of vehicles including two minibuses, two four-wheel-drive vehicles, nine motorcycles, a tuk-tuk and several bicycles. The four-wheel-drive vehicles are essential for reaching many areas of the District where there are no roads.
HELEN ROBERTS – VISIONARY – KENYA
Dr Helen Roberts MBE is the mastermind behind Kwale District Eye Centre. Kwale Eye Centre has grown over the years into an Eye Hospital thanks to the drive and commitment of Dr Helen as she is known to everyone. Its an remarkeble story of this English ophthalmologist who has restored sight to around 1,500 people each year. When not in the Eye Centre Dr Helen and her team go into the bush to visit patients and to screen potentially blind people in remote areas.