SOLIO EYE MISSION 2015

The Safari Collection’s Solio Lodge partnered with MEAK and the Mary Immaculate Hospital in Mweiga to bring valuable and much needed opthalmic services to the local community.

This is the third time The Safari Collection has partnered with the team from MEAK, but only the first time to work with them in the boundaries of Solio Ranch, north of Nairobi.

Thanks to the efforts of the Mary Immaculate hospital and a very effective mobilization campaign – using posers and radio communication – the team arrived on Monday 19th to literally hundreds of people queuing right out of the hospital grounds waiting to be seen.

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Over the 7 day project, the MEAK team registered and treated over 2000 patients, operating on 124 patients with cataracts. A recent outbreak of allergic conjunctivitis in the area meant the team dispensed huge amounts of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory meds to children and adults.

They even had to courier in extra medication to cope with the demand. They issued 300 pairs of reading glasses and have a list of 350 more people waiting to receive glasses when the MEAK team return on the 20 Feb to do a review of all their surgical patients.

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On the final day of registration, they still had 97 new patients to assess and treat, as well as 14 surgical patients to see.

I talked to a few of the patients before and after their surgery. In the area there were many more women needing surgery. Most of them subsistence farm for their livings and they said that having poor vision meant that they could not see what to weed and what to grow in the fields and that they would often pull up the wrong things.

They also said that they easily hurt themselves with sharp objects in the ground that they could not see. Watching them have the dressings removed the following day and seeing their reactions when they realize they can seeis an indescribable feeling.

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The team was hosted at Solio Lodge and Solio Ranch waived all conservancy fees for their visit.

We are thrilled that the team did manage to take a short break from seeing patients to have a quick game drive in Solio Game sanctuary which is now internationally recognized as the most successful private breeding area for Rhino’s in Kenya.

By Ali Alport

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