Happy new year to you! I trust that you fine. We are well here at Mombasa and I am happy to be back from India reunited with my family and Lighthouse staff. I arrived on 3th of January and took a brief break for 2 weeks to reconnect with my wife and children. It was a time of thanks giving as you may be aware we had been apart for most part of last year and God protected us, kept us healthy with no major emergencies thus enabling me complete the Cornea Fellowship at Aravind Eye Hospital successfully.
I resumed work on 2 weeks ago and as usual in Lighthouse I hit the ground running. There are always eye patients ready early in the morning waiting in line, for the last two months the government doctors have been on strike demanding better working environments and pay rise and this has resulted in additional number of patients in the clinic from patients seeking alternative treatment. I see the routine walk-in patients with all the different eye problems as well as specific Cornea reviews. We have started a weekly Cornea Clinic on Thursdays.
Yesterday was our first Cornea clinic where we reviewed a total of 25 patients a surprisingly large number for only a week’s booking. I have also performed surgery 4 Cornea related surgeries in the past two weeks. Two patients stood out, both male patients in their mid-30s who have painful eye infection caused by fungus (mold) following a stick prick. Both had bought over the counter medication containing steroids which accelerated the fungal growth. Last week we started them on appropriate drops, injected their corneas with antifungals and placed a glue and bandage contact lenses for the perforated corneas. They do need urgent corneal transplants, unfortunately donor cornea tissue are not readily available in Kenya. The appropriate antifungals are not available but currently under the process of registration by the Pharmaceutical board in Kenya. Luckily I had brought some from India for such patients. Yesterday they were in less pain and one of them had been able to go back to work. We are expecting a volunteer Cornea specialist next month who will carry along with him donor corneas and hopefully we will have the infection at bay until then so that we can do the grafting. It is patients like these that have continued to drive my passion to do set up Cornea services beyond Lighthouse and together with other local and foreign ophthalmologist hope to set up eye banking services for Kenya and Africa. I will continue to update you on the patients’ progress.
I would like to sincerely thank all the donors of Daktari Fund for providing me the means to cater for my family’s subsistence while I was away and now enabling me serve the eye patients at Lighthouse. May the Lord bless you.