Kisii Eye Hospital

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce the upcoming grand opening of the Kisii Eye Hospital. The hospital will be a comprehensive eye center that will provide high quality, low cost services to a region of about 5 million people in southwestern Kenya. At full capacity, the center will provide 5,000 vision-restoring operations per year, most of them either free or highly subsidized. It will serve patients from the counties of Kisii, Nyamira, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu and parts of Narok. The initiative will be led by Dr Daniel Kiage, who is an experienced ophthalmologist from Nairobi, with technical assistance from Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai India, which runs the largest group of eye hospitals in the world.

In the third world, a blind person is referred to as ‘a mouth without hands’. He is detrimental to his family and to the whole village. But all he needs is a 10-minute operation. People don’t realize that the surgery is available, or that they can afford it because it’s free. We have to sell them first on the need.
— Dr. G. Ventakaswamy, Aravind Eye Hospital

The Kisii Eye Hospital will be housed in an existing 17,000 square foot building that is currently undergoing complete renovation. An extensive outreach system will be put in place to screen patients and identify those in need of surgery. Surgical candidates will be transported to Kisii, where overnight lodging will be provided to patients and their families. Fees at the Center will be stratified, ensuring everyone with a treatable eye problem has access to services. Training of mid-level eye care professionals will be one of the core objectives of the hospital, as will training of specialists at both residency and fellowship levels.

  Dr. Tayeri with Dr. Daniel Kiage and his wife Jacqueline in Kisii.

Dr. Tayeri with Dr. Daniel Kiage and his wife Jacqueline in Kisii.

"Within a few years, we hope to expand services to cover other parts of Kenya and replicate the model in neighboring countries", says Dr. Kiage. Longer range goals include the production of ocular drugs, surgical supplies and instruments, and other equipment that will enable the region to become self-reliant in eye care services.

Since cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the region, cataract surgery will be the primary focus of the Kisii Eye Hospital. Other major blinding diseases to be targeted include glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. An optical shop will provide patients with affordable eye glasses.

  Dr. Kiage examining a patient.

Dr. Kiage examining a patient.

Visual impairment and blindness are great economic and social burdens to individuals, families, and communities. Fortunately, vision-restoring surgery is one of the most cost effective interventions in medicine: a relatively inexpensive operation that results in a huge improvement in the quality of life of afflicted persons. "Partnering with Fiat Lux Foundation is the best outcome I could have wished for. It will ensure quality eye care is available to all in the region and beyond", Dr. Kiage said.

Thomas Tayeri, M.D.