The Safari Collection recently partnered with Meak & Smilestar for our 4th eye surgery.

A team of 12 working at two different locations for a week each, screened or treated approximately 3400 patients and performed 199 life-changing surgeries to give people back their sight. 

The first clinic was held at the consultation rooms and surgical theatre of the Mary Immaculate Hospital in Mweiga outside Solio Lodge, while the second was at Sasaab, where a field hospital was set up in the guide tents. Doctors and nurses were sent to markets, manyattas and schools to conduct screenings and bring patients back to the lodge for surgeries.

During the week at Solio, the team screened and treated 1759 patients and performed 170 cataract surgeries. The team also visited four local schools and screened a further 600 hundred children of whom 171 required treatment for a variety of eye infections, especially conjunctivitis.

Over the course of the week at Sasaab, 331 adult patients were screened and three schools visited where a further 700 children were screened. The team carried out 28 successful cataract surgeries and one trachoma surgery.

An estimated 320,000 people live with blindness in Kenya and a further 750,000 with visual impairment. Sadly, 80% of those people suffer from a condition that is either curable or preventable. Cataracts are responsible for 43% of blindness in Kenya and trachoma accounts for a further 19% of cases, both can normally be cured with simple surgical procedures.

However, 75% of Kenyans living in rural areas have poor access to health services in general and almost no access to qualified ophthalmologists. Even for those with access to good eye doctors, the surgery to cure their conditions can remain out of reach due to the relatively high cost of procedures.

Tanya Carr HartleyComment