Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital had an humble beginnings, and has grown tremendously over the last 90 years from a Native Cottage hospital to a National Hospital. It was started in 1917 as a cottage hospital that had a bed capacity of 60 to cater for the African health needs... Read More

Two patients underwent successful corneal transplantation at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) on 31st March, 2017 at the Eye Theatre.

The corneal transplantation saved one of the patients from possible blindness while the other was an optical case.

This was the first corneal transplantation in the Hospital.

Corneal transplantation is a surgical procedure that involves replacing the cloudy/scarred cornea with a donor cornea to restore vision.

A cloudy or opaque cornea can occur from scarring of any cause (e.g injuries or infections) or cloudy swelling of the cornea due to damage or ageing of the innermost layer of cells of the cornea known as the corneal endothelial layer.

This layer is not able to grow back or regenerate and can only be replaced by a donor cornea through transplantation.

For transplantation to take place, normally the patients undergo pre-surgery routine to establish whether the cornea is clear.

The transplantation was done by Dr. James Bett, an Ophthalmologist and Head of Eye Unit at MTRH.

Performing an eye operation is easy, Dr. Bett says, but stitching is the most difficult and important thing.

“If a stitch doesn't look perfect, you remove and do it again. If it is too tight, it is not good and will result in a stigmatization, an eye condition that occurs when your cornea which should be spherical is actually oval shaped."

The condition causes blurred vision, difficulties in focusing, eye strain and headaches.  If too loose, it will start leaking and result in bacterial infection.

Dr. Bett has urged the Hospital to consider establishing an eye bank with the primary objective being provision of safe human corneal tissues of excellent quality to patients in need of corneal transplantation. This will be achieved through local corneal donation programmes as well as sourcing corneal tissues from certified International eye banks.

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