Why Rhoda Kisio dedicated her life to improving sight
Rhoda Kisio experienced issues with her vision growing up. During a time when there wasn’t adequate access to vision care, and with only one eye hospital servicing the whole of East Africa, Rhoda was taken to a traditional healer. The healer attempted to cure her vision impairment, but ended up doing more harm than good.
Access to vision care in Kenya has improved since Rhoda was a child; every county hospital now has a dedicated eye care unit providing vision care education, eye exams and glasses for those who need it.
Rhoda herself is contributing to this increased access to vision care in Kenya; her experience with vision issues at a young age taught her how precious sight is, inspiring her to work in the vision care industry as she wanted to ensure that no one had to go through the same suffering as her. She is now an ophthalmic nurse at the Narok County Hospital in Nairobi seeing over 40 patients a day.
One of the many people she has been able to help is Veronica Amuria, an orphan who was brought to the eye clinic by her teacher. Veronica started having vision issues in grade one where her eyes would start to swell and tear up. Sometimes she cannot see completely. This affected her ability to learn in class and also drew teasing from her classmates, making Veronica feel incredibly lost and isolated.
Veronica’s teacher saw her struggle and encouraged her to get her eyes tested. After examination, Rhoda diagnosed Veronica with severe allergic conjunctivitis that had encroached on the cornea and prescribed her with medicine and a pair of glasses. With her sight improved, Veronica can now see the blackboard in class and pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer so that she can protect people and fight for their rights.
Through her work as a vision care provider, Rhoda is able to help her community see better and live fuller lives, improving their health, education and work opportunities.
EssilorLuxottica partnered with the Kenya Society for the Blind to set up the eye unit in Narok County Hospital in Nairobi. The partnership will also support Rhoda and her colleagues to undertake further ophthalmic training to provide even more vision care services to the residents of Narok County.