The County Government of Bomet has commissioned the state-of-the art Eye Unit at Longisa County Referral Hospital. The facility was officially opened by H.E Governor Isaac Ruto last Friday in a colourful ceremony held at the Referral Hospital’s ground. The construction and equipping of the unit was funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the collaboration of Deutsches Blindenhilfswerk (DBHW) through a Kenyan based NGO-Salus Oculi in partnership with Bomet County. The eye unit comes complete with a brand new utility vehicle to be used for carrying out eye clinic services and outreach across the county. Speaking during the commissioning of the project Governor Ruto said the Eye Unit will fulfil medical needs of the many patients within the county and beyond adding that its construction was informed by hospital data on eye conditions, population and access to eye services by residents of Bomet. “The department of Medical Services will post necessary healthcare personnel to fully facilitate the eye unit as well as ensuring medical and non-medical supplies are available” Ruto said. German Blind Relief (DBHW) Project Manager Simone Henszler said DBHW was committed in ensuring that cases of blindness and visual impairment were eradicated saying this can be avoided if patients get quality eye care treatment. “As DBHW we are contented to see Longisa Eye Unit operational to ease many cases of blindness and visual impairment within the region by equipping the facility to its capacity.” Ms Hensler noted. The facility serve residents of Bomet County and its neighbouring counties of from Bomet and Narok, Nakuru, Kisii and Nyamira counties who have various eye ailments. According to Cataract Surgeon Godfrey Kiptoon who heads the unit, the facility will ease services of eye screening, cataract surgeries, optometry, and treatment of eye infections and provision of eye devices as well as outreach eye treatment services in the county. “We have done five eye surgeries since the unit became operational in September this year. On average, we attend to at least 20 patients with suffering from various eye ailments daily,” he said. He said most of the eye ailment cases recorded at the unit include cataract, which he said was common among the elderly while children were more prone to effects of allergies. The unit is the only public facility in the South Rift with specialized equipment and will offer services at a subsidized cost, thus making cases where patients suffering from various eye ailments to other hospitals a thing off the past. During the function, Governor Ruto who was accompanied by Henzler from DBHW also launched part of an assortment of medical equipment donated by Friends of Bomet County from Middle East Broadcasting Corporation worth more than Kshs 120 million which will be distributed to all Sub-County hospitals within the county.