For Dao Bassirou, aged 28, of
Abidjan, Ivory Coast, it came as a shock when he was advised to
have a corneal transplant surgery done abroad to get back his
deteriorating poor vision in both eyes.
was suffering from gradually progressive blurry vision in both
eyes which forced him to drop out of the school.
was disturbed by severe symptoms of itching, watering and
redness in his eyes for many years and the eye specialist at
Abidjan diagnosed him to be having “ Keratoconus”.
is a progressive eye disease in which the cornea of the eye gets
thin and bulging.
disease affects mainly young children causing blurry and
the early stages of the disease spectacles/ contact lenses can
improve the vision but in the later stages cornea transplant is
the only option.
very low awareness about eye donation among local population and
due to lack of trained surgeons at Abidjan, Bassirou had no
option but to travel abroad to get the transplant surgery done.
the cost involved was too high and prohibitive which left him
silently suffering with poor vision.
came as an unexpected boon for Dao Bassirou when he was informed
by a a local Lion member that his surgery can be performed at
Lions Eye Center Mombasa through a German voluntary
organisation, Cornea-Help free of cost.
a little bit of financial assistance from his friends and
relatives he planned his travel.
is the story of Soloman of Kampala.
was on the verge of dropping out from his university studies due
to very poor vision and lack of facilities and finance to
undergo surgery in his country.
was lucky to come in contact with a local Lions club which
contacted Lions eye center Mombasa and Cornea-Help Germany.
a German NGO, has been working with Lions Eye Center Mombasa for
the past two years to help such corneal blind patients.
a common goal of serving the African patients who can not afford
such expensive surgeries done in developed countries, this
collaboration has helped 49 blind patients in last two years.
plans were done by Cornea-Help for the screening of
these patients in Abidjan, their travel and stay at
Mombasa and surgeries to be performed at Lions Eye Center.
13th September 2013, Dr. Vishwanatha N.Gokhale, Dr Sandhya
Gokhale and their surgical team performed the Cornea
transplantation surg-eries on these four patients successfully.
arranged the travel and importing of the tissues from an eye
bank in America. Lions eye center, which is the project of Lions
club of Mombasa Pwani, performed surgeries with no charges.
these surgeries done free of charges and within Africa was a
dream come true for these four patients.
49 surgeries and the subsequent efforts to create awareness
among local population has started yielding
results. Lions eye center has received about 15 corneas
in last two years from the local eye donations.
has enabled the corneal blind patients to be operated locally at
a very reasonable charges.
who otherwise would have traveled to some developed country to
get operated, are travelling to Mombasa.
increased awareness of eye donation, availability of surgical
facilities in Mombasa and a great support from local
philanthr-opists, Lions and organisations like Cornea-Help,
Lions Eye Center is confi-dent of achieving the goal… Medical
tourism - Africa to Africa.