Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital aims to eliminate preventable and treatable blindness through offering equitable, efficient and comprehensive patient care, sight enhancement and rehabilitation services to those most in need
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Callam Waller
Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital (LSEH) was founded in July, 1997 in order to provide the role of a comprehensive eye care facility located within the main hospital in Loresho Westlands District, Nairobi County.
The Hospial has always focused on the economically disadvantaged groups of society in both rural and urban areas, similiarly being able to extend its services further afield through LSEH community outreach programmes.
“Our general outpatient service consists of eight consulting rooms which enable us to serve walk-in patients, as well as a large reception and waiting shed which can accommodate more than 200 patients when needed,” begins the Company on its website. “Our general clinic is offered to patients at a highly subsidised rate and with that they will be privvy to our two fully equipped main theatres, two minor theatres and a separate male and female general wards which can accommodate 66 patients at a time.”
Since inception the hospital has been guided by the philosphy ‘We Serve’ and it is something that is completely engrained in every member of staff, while honesty and integrity are also essential ingredients of a strong and stable organisation, both financially and in terms of general survival in the industry.
“We are incredibly committed to providing the highest ethical standards in our conduct,” explains the Company. “It is important to us to empathise with and demonstrate sensitivity to patients and their families, always keeping it at the forefront of our minds to help them to the best of our ability.
“Our mission for the hospital is widely known and we find that encourages accountability in doing our part to achieve them; through that accountability we have fostered a working environment of collaboration, partnership, trust and mutual respect.”
Since it was established in 1997 the Hospital has reached many successful achievements that stands it apart in the industry, setting the benchmark to be reached by all.
“We have served more than two million people, and proudly 70 percent of these services were provided completely free of cost to patients,” adds the Company. “LSEH is incredibly proud of the sheer numbers that we have managed to achieve, including 4,000 eye screening camps, 86,325 free sight restoration cataract surgeries, harvested more than 3,500 donor corneas and transplanted more than 1,500 donor corneas.”
Impressively, LSEH started the first ever Eye Bank in East and Central Africa, enabling the processing, storage and analysis of tissues for transplant, as well as starting the ultra-modern LASIK Centre to cater for patients with refractive errors.
“On a side-note, we have established a state-of-the-art Dental Care clinic which is conveniently located within the Lions Service Centre and enables us to offer a rull range of dental services for both adults and children,” states the Company.
“Our newly established ENT and Hearing Centre caters for all patients with hearing problems, while also providing top-quality hearing aids to the patients. Through collaborating with Swedish doctors, the clinic is able to perform regular camps twice a year to provide surgery to those with slightly more complex hearing loss.”
Executive and general clinic
The LSEH Executive clinic is manned by its top consultants, who are able to provide detailed eye examinations, spanning from the adnexa (outer eye) to the retina (inside of the eye) and serves its patients that are exhibiting all manner of eye conditions.
“In this clinic we are able to provide the patients with an incredibly wide range of treatments and management plans,” the Company states. “We have very specific patient management plans for certain conditions, including Cataract - most commonly due to aging - and Keratoconus, which is a degenerative disorder which affects the cornea.”
The Executive clinic is also able to offer a low cost general eye examination, which serves the general public very well and emergency cases are also in attendance there.
The Company continues: “All of our basic diagnosis tests are covered through this department, with a well equipped selection of theatres and state-of-the-art facilities to make use of.”
Community eye care
The Hospital’s programme began in a very modest manner, with two small camps; but over the years it has been able to expand and reach more and more people in need of better healthcare. In its present day state, LSEH now covers a radius of 250 kilometres and from Nairobi it brings in more than 5,000 patients for free surgery each year.
The areas that are now covered by LSEH include Runuenjes, Murang’a, Muriranja, Sultan, Tawa, Kangundo, Kerugoya, Nunguni, Matiri, Mwea, Kandara, Kitui, Matuu, Kiserian, Naivash, Njambini, Marigat and Rumuruti.
“We have launched numerous programmes, covering the aforementioned areas, one of the most prominent being the Sight for Kids Programme launched in August, 2014,” explains the Company. “It targets rural schools around the country that have little or no access to eye healthcare, assisting by training teachers how to look out for eye problems in the children, as well as assisting in basic screening.”
Alongside the Sight for Kids Programme, there is also the Community Out-Reach, predominantly targetting the issue of cataract blindness in Kenya.
“Despite the magnitude of the issue in Kenya when it comes to cataract blindness, only a small percentage of people actually seek treatment,” concludes the Company. “We are aiming to combat the poverty levels - particularly in rural Kenya - and hope that in the following years we will be able to lessen this problem and continue creating a positive impact with our work.”