Grey Mist Lifting

A Weekly Blog About Lives Changed Through Eye Care

Lynne Dulaney, Director of Communications

School screening in rural Kenya – using a mobile phone!


Proud teacher Wilberforce Nyukuri demonstrates the PEEK app screen.

Proud teacher Wilberforce Nyukuri demonstrates the PEEK app screen.

Last spring, we told you how Operation Eyesight helped fund an exciting technological development that will revolutionize eye examination: a smartphone application called Portable Eye Examination Kit (PEEK).

Now being tested in rural schools in Kenya, the school-based PEEK pilot project is helping build capacity of teachers to monitor and evaluate the visual acuity of their students.

Wilberforce Nyukuri, 41, has been a teacher for four years at Kiminini Primary School, located in Transzoia County in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Before he was sensitized about eye problems, the teacher admits that it was not easy for him to recognize children with low vision or other eye issues. The only help he could offer a child was to move them to the front of the classroom to better see, or inform their parents.

Through Operation Eyesight’s Child Eye Health project supported by Seeing is Believing, Wilberforce was trained on the principles of primary eye care, and later was picked for PEEK training.

Wilberforce praises PEEK’s efficiency, adding it has completely removed paperwork from the screening exercise. Data is transmitted directly from the smartphone to a doctor’s computer. “PEEK is perfect. It is very fast to screen and less tiring,” he says, noting about 950 pupils were screened at his school as part of the PEEK study.

Dr. Hillary Rono, an ophthalmologist in charge of Kenya’s North Rift Zone (population 2.5 million people), is an investigator in the pilot project. His interest in validating PEEK arose from the scarcity of eye workers and the need for early detection and treatment of children with visual impairment.

According to Rono, school screening in most parts of Kenya is conducted by eye health workers, which takes time that could otherwise be used in treating patients. By using mobile phone technology and PEEK, teachers can independently conduct screening in their schools.

Technology is creating important new ways to help fight avoidable blindness – and we will keep you up to date on PEEK’s progress! Special thanks to Seeing is Believing for funding this exciting project.

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    6 Responses to School screening in rural Kenya – using a mobile phone!

    It sounds very interesting. How cost effective is PEEK compared to training of the user as a health worker in diagnosing eye diseases? How much time does it require to screen 100 children using this and how does that time compare to screening by a trained health worker in your settings?

    Operation Eyesight Universal on May 8, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Dear Dr. Shivam: Thank you for your inquiry. We are currently in the beginning stages of this pilot project and have not yet competed a full cost comparison, however, we can tell you that PEEK eye examinations are twice as fast. The average time taken by a teacher to examine an eye using the PEEK app is seven seconds (per eye). From initial reports, we have learned that it took two teachers just five days to screen a school of 500 children. We would be happy to provide you with more information once a full cost analysis has been completed for this project.

    Sincerely,
    Your friends at Operation Eyesight

    Great innovative tool.kudos. I am an Eye care provider with my Health company in Ghana that visits rural areas, schools, corporate bodies. How do I get involve in this innovative public health equipment which will go a long way to ensure primary health care through alma ata declaration is achieved..You can kindly contact me on my Company’s e- mail above. thank you

    Alexander Omwakwe on August 2, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Greetings to All
    Am an Optometrist based at Walmar Community Eye Centre in Kakamega County, Kenya
    We also run a school screening program and am in serious need of the peek phone, kindly assist as obtain one

    Operation Eyesight on August 14, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Hello Mike. Thank you for your inquiry. Please visit PEEK’s website for more information. You can subscribe to their mailing list or contact them using the information listed at this link: http://www.peekvision.org/contact-us

    Sincerely,
    Your friends at Operation Eyesight

    Operation Eyesight on August 14, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Hello Alexander. Thank you for your inquiry. Please visit PEEK’s website for more information. You can subscribe to their mailing list or contact them directly using the information listed at this link: http://www.peekvision.org/contact-us

    Best wishes,
    Your friends at Operation Eyesight

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