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Honorary Rotarian Dr. Joshi is grateful to have had the opportunity of serving patients in the Western region through the Kenya Rural Blindness Eradication project with the Rotary Club of Nairobi. Check out this article in the The Asian Weekly!

Read more Honorary Rotarian Dr. Joshi is grateful to have had the opportunity of serving patients in the Western region through the Kenya Rural Blindness Eradication project with the Rotary Club of Nairobi. Check out this article in the The Asian Weekly!

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ROTARY CLUB OF NAIROBI HITS A RECORD BY ENABLING 237 PATIENTS TO REGAIN EYESIGHT IN A DAY

The Rotary Club of Nairobi, under the banner of Kenya Rural Blindness Eradication Project, has been doing free cataract operations for the last 30 years. Honorary Rotarian Dr. Mukesh Joshi and his team have performed nearly 17,000 free cataract operations under this initiative. A similar eye camp was recently held at the Kisumu Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital. Dr. Mukesh Joshi was joined by a team of ophthalmologists; Dr. Orlando from Eldoret, Dr. Ochieng from Kisii and other ophthalmic clinical assistants like Mr. Maina from Nakuru, Mr. Rono from Sabatia, Mr. Kelvin from Homa Bay and Mr. Steve from Migori. We are most grateful to the Jalaram School of Kisumu, where all the patients were accommodated for free. We are also grateful to Mr. Jayant Patel (Foam Mattresses, Kisumu), for providing the mattresses for the patients. The coordination of the entire eye camp was done by Rotarian Salim Fazal, Rotarian Nelson Mburu and Rotarian Clinton Ombati. The president of the Rotary Cub, Jessica Kazina was also present during the camp. We are also grateful to the guest of honor, Honorable Dr. Onyango, who visited the eye camp on behalf of the governor of Kisumu. We are thankful to the Trust of the Rotary Club, through Rotarian Dinesh Kapila. The Rotary Club would also like to extend its appreciation to Rotarian Arun Devani for organizing the donation for this initiative from Mr. Ismail (lawyer). If any of the readers of the Asian Weekly would like to join us in being a part of these noble projects, please feel free to contact the coordinator of the eye camp, Rotarian Nelson Mburu or Dr. Mukesh Joshi on the below: Dr. Mukesh Joshi - info@lasereyecentre.co.ke Rotarian Nelson Mburu - nelson.mburu@gmail.com W: http://rotarynairobi.org/                                    

Read more ROTARY CLUB OF NAIROBI HITS A RECORD BY ENABLING 237 PATIENTS TO REGAIN EYESIGHT IN A DAY

ROTARY CLUB EYE CAMP ENABLES 260 PATIENTS TO REGAIN EYE SIGHT IN A DAY

For the last 30 years, The Rotary Club of Nairobi has been holding free eye camps to curb rural blindness under the KENYA RURAL BLINDNESS ERADICATION PROJECT.  Dr. Mukesh Joshi (honorary Rotary Ophthalmologist) and his team have performed more than 17,000 free cataract operations in the last three decades under his initiative.

A similar eye camp was recently held on the 26th – 28th April 2019 at the Kisumu Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital. Rotarian President Salim Fazal and Rotarian Nelson Mburu accompanied Honorary Rotarian Dr. Mukesh Joshi and team to the camp. 260 cataract surgeries were successfully carried out, marking the highest number of operations that have been carried out in a day. The eye camp attracted patients from Ahero, Migori, Nyamira, Kisii, Kapsabet, Kisumu, and Kendu Bay.

The Rotary Club of Nairobi is grateful for the support of Dr. Rosemary Obara (Cabinet Secretary of Health – Kisumu) and Dr. Okoth (CEO, Oginga Odinga Institute). The project would not have been possible without the support of The Jalaram School and its members (Chairman – Mr. Vinod Patel, former chairman – Mr. Vijay Patel and Principal – Mrs. Prabhu) where all the patients were accommodated. The Rotary club of Nairobi is most grateful to Mr. Jayant Patel (Foam Mattresses, Kisumu) for providing mattresses for the patients this year and in the past. Transport for operated patients was provided at no cost, courtesy of Easy Coach. Ms. Alia Mohammed, Ms. Peris Muthoni and Mrs. Mira Joshi also played a key role in making this camp a success.

Woman recovers sight after historic stem cells surgery

A partially blind woman has regained her sight after receiving Kenya’s first-ever stem cell transplant from a placenta.

Jane Muthoni lost her sight completely in the left eye in 2013 after a laboratory accident in school. Her right eye is normal.

Late January, she became the first Kenyan eye patient to receive a stem cell transplant at the Laser Eye Centre in Nairobi. The surgery was performed a team of four specialists led by Dr Mukesh Joshi.

A review carried out on Saturday shows the left eye has healed, slowly restoring sight to the 23-year-old woman.

“We transplanted stem cells from the opposite eye to the damaged eye, a procedure that requires a lot of minute details,” Nairobi-based ophthalmologist Joshi said.

Millions of stem cells are found at the junction of the white and black parts of the eye.

“Once the stem cells are taken from the opposite eye, they will not stick to the cornea, so a special membrane, known as the amniotic membrane, is derived from the placenta imported from the USA,” he said.

This membrane is applied with special glue so it can stick to the damaged cornea. “Stem cells gradually start repopulating and giving nutrition to the superficial layer of the cornea since the cornea does not have a blood supply.

“With improved nutrition, the cornea starts becoming clear once the newly transplanted stem cells get repopulated,” Mukesh said.

Scan images show Muthoni’s eyes are now less cloudy and streaks of veins that ran through the cornea have disappeared.

The function of the stem cells is to give nutrition to the cornea to enable it to maintain its clarity since the cornea does not have a blood supply. The cornea is the first transparent part of the eye, through which light passes.

Due to injuries, like chemical accidents or infections, the cells get damaged, making the cornea cloudy and blood vessels start to run on it.

Muthoni had normal eyesight until the high school laboratory accident damaged her left eye.

Corneal wound healing is a complex process that occurs in response to various eye injuries and surgery. Delayed or incomplete healing is a significant clinical concern.

The Kenyan case presents evidence of the role of stem cells in corneal wound healing.

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How a placenta helped restore my eyesight

For 23-year-old Susan Muthoni, the placenta recently restored sight in her right eye, which she lost after a chemistry experiment gone wrong in secondary school five years ago. In January, she got stem cell eye surgery at the Laser Eye Clinic in Nairobi. Through a transparent, perforated plastic shield that is strapped on her right eye, a white membrane that stretches on the eye is visible. An amniotic membrane, from the placenta, that would help her eye heal faster without leaving scars was used. The amniotic membrane ensures regeneration of stem cells in the affected eye once the stem cells are transplanted. CHEMICAL BURN “Corneal stem cells offer nutrients to the cornea, the window of the eye through which rays of light pass. Stem cells form the junction of the white and black part of the cornea. “Damage causes the cornea to become cloudy. To reverse the damage, stem cells can be transplanted,” said Dr Mukesh Joshi, the ophthalmologist who performed the surgery. The chemical burn damaged Ms Muthoni’s cornea cells, and turned off the light. “Amniotic membrane is used in eye surgery for surface reconstructive surgery. The membrane prevents the formation of scar tissue. The scars affect proper movement of the eyelids and movement of tears across the eye,” said Dr Joshi. If the patient’s other eye is healthy, stem cells can be removed from it and transplanted into the affected eye. There are thousands of stem cells that feed into the cornea, but about two per cent are needed for the transplant. In case both eyes are damaged, the stem cells are acquired from the eye of relative or family member based on tissue type match. The cells are then multiplied on the amniotic membrane, then glued on to the eye with a special glue that does not affect the eyelids. The area is then covered by a contact lens, and a shield is placed to protect the eye. The stem cells should start growing back in six weeks. The membrane dissolves and the patient’s cornea starts clearing. The amniotic membrane used on Muthoni was imported from the United States, where placentas are collected from consenting mothers, then preserved at appropriate temperatures. FUTURE USE In some countries, transport of live amniotic membrane is not permitted, so it is dried for future use, and later activated to create a conducive environment for transplanted eye stem cells to grow. “From 600 cells, you will have 20,000 cells in six months, to give the cornea nutrition, which it was deprived off when it was cloudy,” said Dr Joshi. Stem cell surgery is performed on patients with severe infections that affect the cornea, those whose corneal stem cells have suffered burns, or people suffering from an infection affecting the mucus membrane. Transplants can also be done from donated eyes, and though there is an eye bank in Kenya, there are not enough donations. “We need a specialised laboratory to grow stem cells. “Unlike the eye bank where you need to collect the eye from someone who is dead, stem cells can be collected from live donors and grown, then used to treat partial Read more How a placenta helped restore my eyesight