Eyes For East Africa (UK) & Kwale District Eye Centre, Kenya


Eyes for East Africa (UK charity 1053222)  is the UK publicity and fundraising focus for Kwale District Eye Centre (KDEC) a charitable organisation on the Kenya South Coast. The centre provides affordable, accessible eye care mostly in Kwale district, which is almost the size of Cyprus, with a population of about 500,000.

Before KDEC was built there was nowhere a patient in the District could access an ophthalmologist. Patients pay only an affordable contribution towards their care.

The Centre was founded in 1993 by Dr Helen Roberts,MBE, the Medical Director, a UK  ophthalmologist resident in Kenya.

In Kenya the prevalence of blindness is extremely high with 10 times more blindness, than in the Western world. 1/100 people are blind, and 80% of this is preventable with over half being caused by cataract.

The number of ophthalmologists in Kenya is low by UK standards at 1 to 1 Million.  Further, the ophthalmologists are all concentrated in the main cities.  In contrast, in the UK the ratio is approximately 1 to 70,000.

The Eye Centre is situated in a poor rural district with many cases of blindness, including children. Many of the problems are caused by poor diet and ignorance. In a proportion of cases sight can be restored, funds permitting.

Since 1993, the number of cataract operations has steadily increased and now runs at around 1,700 a year. Action is now focusing on the early detection of glaucoma.

Kwale District Eye Centre runs an active, comprehensive eye care service for the community, including those in remote areas where few other services are available. Services provided by KDEC include help for those with low vision, the deaf-blind, care of patients with albinism and rehabilitation for the irreversibly blind.

Last year around 8,000 patients were seen in screening clinics in distant “bush”areas.

Kwale District Eye Centre relies entirely on donations and receives no public funding.

Please help us if you can by making a donation either on-line through the website www.eyesforeastafrica.org, or to Eyes for East Africa UK whose address is shown on this site.

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