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Upper Hill Eye and Laser Centre

Making eye care available and affordable in East Africa

  • Company
  • Healthcare
  • East Africa
  • 2009
  • Exited

The challenge

Loss of eyesight has a tremendous economic and social impact on the BoP, eliminating the ability of at least one person from earning an income and often requiring the full-time assistance of at least one family member. Up to 75% of all blindness, globally, is avoidable, according to WHO estimates. WHO further asserts that “blindness remains a key barrier to development, health is the centerpiece of development and poverty alleviation; continuing to eliminate avoidable blindness among the poorest of the poor is a moral imperative,” with 90% of the world’s visually impaired living in developing countries and 18% of the world’s blind living in Africa.

The innovation

Upper Hill Eye and Laser Centre (UHEAL) leases space to private practice ophthalmologists who currently have limited access to operating theater facilities with the comprehensive equipment required for performing surgical eye procedures. The Centre also provides access to specialized eye care diagnostic services previously unavailable in Kenya and East Africa. The private eye care center located within the Upper Hill Medical Centre in Nairobi subsidizes a mobile outreach unit that provides sight-saving services to diabetics at the BoP, a sizable population generally unaware of their high risk for blindness. Dr. Kibata, an ophthalmologist with subspecialties in pediatrics and retinas, founded UHEAL because he saw the need to increase access to specialized eye care based on his experience at PCEA Kikuyu, one of the two major eye care hospital facilities in Kenya.