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Our work in Kenya

Kenya’s leading cause of sight loss is cataracts, while diseases such as trachoma also play a part. Our work in the country focuses on improving eye care and preventing eye disease.

A girl carries water she collected in Turkana, northern Kenya.

When Sightsavers started working in Kenya in 1952, our focus was to eliminate avoidable blindness and provide rehabilitation for adults who were irreversibly blind.

Today, we’re continuing this work by improving local health services, training doctors and eye surgeons, and making sure eye care is available for everyone.

We’re also working to eliminate several neglected tropical diseases in Kenya: we distribute medication to help control the spread of blinding trachoma, and educate local communities about the importance of hygiene and cleanliness to prevent diseases spreading.

Finally, our inclusive education programmes in Kenya aim to make sure children with disabilities are able to go to school. We raise awareness in communities about disability rights, and train teachers so they have the specialist skills needed to teach children with disabilities.

At a glance

Total population
  • 48 million

  • What we focus on
  • Cataracts
  • Trachoma
  • Disability rights

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Inclusive education
  • CATCH: coordinated health
  • Super School of 5
  • I worried I would go completely blind. But after my surgery, I can see! I’m full of joy and I’m so grateful to everyone.
    Sumburia, cataract patient
    Sumburia.

    How we’re making a difference in Kenya

    Boy is held by his mother, he has a face washing guide in his hand.

    Raising awareness

    Our Super School of 5 project, in northern Kenya, features superhero characters to encourage children to wash their hands and faces.
    Read about the project

    Flash sits at his desk in a wheelchair in school, surrounded by his classmates as they listen to their teacher.

    Inclusive education

    Flash Odiwuor, a 13-year-old from Kenya, caught polio and lost the use of his legs. But a Sightsavers project enabled him to return to school.
    Read Flash’s story

    Smiling girl from Uganda

    Protecting sight

    We train eye health workers and help to improve local healthcare services in Kenya to make sure no one goes blind from avoidable causes.
    Read about our work

    Your donation could help to protect sight

    DONATE

    More from Kenya

    A young man using a wheelchair on a road in Kenya.
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    Many people with disabilities work in the informal sector. Unless they can leave their house every day, they struggle to meet their basic needs. For them, the situation is dire.

    Edwinah Orowe, June 2020
    Rebecca stands with her arms folded outside her accommodation in the Kenyan refugee camp
    Sightsavers Reports

    Rebecca's story

    Rebecca from South Sudan, who has advanced trachoma, has been living in a refugee camp in northern Kenya, since 2013.

    A man smiling.
    Sightsavers Reports

    Collins' story

    Disability activist Collins Ombajo shares his personal story, his work in advocacy and what drives him to be involved in the Inclusive Futures programme.

    Community health volunteers stand outside in Nachuru, Turkana, Kenya.
    sightsavers_news

    Sightsavers film chosen to represent UK at global health film festival

    A short film about trachoma trackers in Kenya beat more than 1,200 submissions to reach the top 15 for its category in a prestigious, international contest.

    May 2020
    A man smiling while sat on a motorbike.
    Sightsavers Reports

    Celebrating our health workers on World Health Day

    As we thank all our health workers on World Health Day, meet six who have worked with Sightsavers to help improve eye care for people in their communities.

    two volunteers ride motorbikes on a dirt road.
    Sightsavers from the field

    March updates: highlights from around the world

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    March 2020
    A surgeon dressed in scrubs prepares for theatre
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    Meet Elizabeth, who's saving sight in Kenya

    A decade ago, Turkana had the highest prevalence of trachoma of any county. Now thanks to eye health workers like Elizabeth, the number of cases have been severely reduced.

    A woman dressed in traditional clothing poses for the camera. she is blind in her left eye.
    Sightsavers Reports

    The friend next door: how Ekeno’s neighbour saved her sight

    Ekeno was experiencing terrible pain in her eyes, until her neighbour, Sightsavers-trained community worker Susan, was able to get her the help she needed.

    A young boy stands outside in the sun wearing light coloured clothes. There is a small house to the left and a tree to the right.
    sightsavers_news

    Sightsavers surgeon featured on BBC for World NTD Day

    Our sight-saving work in rural Kenya was featured in BBC coverage for World NTD Day 2020.

    January 2020
    A group of female and male community volunteers stand for a portrait holding dose poles.
    Sightsavers from the field

    World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day: highlights from around the world

    On 30 January, Sightsavers joined in celebrations for the first ever World NTD Day around the world.

    January 2020
    Someone on crutches shakes a man's hand.
    Sightsavers blog

    Including people with disabilities in African political life

    Our research shows that a lack of education and financial resources, social stigma and inaccessible physical infrastructure mean fewer people with disabilities are participating in politics in Africa.

    Bhavisha Virendrakumar, October 2019
    A group of students in blue uniforms, wearing paper masks on their heads.
    Sightsavers from the field

    How soap and superheroes are changing lives

    Geordie Woods explains how the Super School of Five trachoma prevention programme is protecting school children from this devastating disease.

    October 2019

    We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

    Where we work