KENYA SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND
KSB was established to promote the welfare, education, training and employment of the blind, assist in the prevention and alleviation of blindness. KSB works closely with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health/Medical services and the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Development. Programmes implemented by KSB fall under eye health care, education and rehabilitation of mainly persons with visual impairment.
KSB works towards a society in which no one is needlessly blind and a society where the needs, rights and participation of the visually impaired is ensured.
Programmes are designed to ensure prevention of blindness, increase access to services and equalization of opportunity for visually impaired persons through treatment, capacity building, networking and partnership.
EYE CARE PROGRAMME
A) Eye clinic and Optical Project : The Kenya society for the blind has been running the eye clinic and optical shop since 1994 as part of its contribution towards the fight against avoidable blindness. The society runs the optical shop that operates in five days a week with the eye clinic operating one day in a week. In 2010 the optical shop attended to 657 patients and the eye clinic served 820 patients.
B) Local Production of Eye Drops (LPED): KSB operates a unit for production and distribution of local eye drops. The unit is also used as a teaching facility for KMTC students. Through this unit a total of 28 different affordable eye drops are produced and distributed to government, mission and community hospitals. KSB in partnership with SSI and Safaricom Foundation has stepped up this unit inline with WHO standards. The unit due to be launched by December 2011 will have a capacity to produce 400,000 bottles per annum at an average price of £ 0.34 per bottle to be distributed in East African Communities.
C) The Kenya Ophthalmic Programme (KOP): KOP is an eye care programme implemented by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in partnership with Kenya Society for the Blind and Sightsavers International. This programme covers ten districts including Nakuru, Koibatek, Samburu, Baringo, Machakos, Mwingi, Makueni, Kitui, Loitoktok and Kajiado districts. In these districts with an estaimated population of approximately 5.4 million people, the blindness prevalence is estimated at 0.7%. The main causes of blindness include cataract, trachoma, glaucoma, childhood blindness and refractive errors. Through this programme, national and district hospitals capacities to prevent and treat eye illnesses is stregnthened. Through this programme in year 2010, KOP was able to facilitate 1,936 cataracts operations, offer primary Eye Care training in 3 districts in which 75 persons participated, facilitaed 691 Trachisis surgeries, ensured screening of 7,276 for refractive errors and organized a total of 736 Glaucoma treatment . The programme also designed, produced and distributed IEC materials and undertook 2 sensitization sessions on PEC in Kangundo and Baringo distrcits Equipments, instruments and consumables were procured.for 8 district and 2 provincial hospitals.
Kenya has close to 30,000 visually impaired children of school going-age with little access to basic education because of the prohibitive cost. KSB in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Sight Savers International is supporting the education of over 2,500 blind children through the Kenya Integrated Education Programme (KIEP). This programme encourages the inclusion of blind children into the main stream education system. This programme also support early childhood intervention programmes and in-service training of teachers, provision of white canes and education equipment such as Braille machines and cassette/tape recorders for the totally blind and the low vision.
Currently at the KSB Centre for Adaptive Technology (CAT) persons with visual impairment are trained on computers using speech activated software. The centre equips persons with visual impairment with computer skills so that they can be proficient in the following applications that are necessary to any job market. The organization also provides counseling services and orientation and mobilization skills for newly diagnosed persons with visual impairment.
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