The Marsabit Trachoma (MT) Project is an integrated initiative designed to address in a holistic manner, the problem of trachoma in endemic communities in Upper Eastern Region in Kenya. This is a five-year project launched in 2011. The Marsabit Trachoma Control Project is designed to address the problem of trachoma in endemic communities in Upper Eastern Regions of Kenya. The project is being implemented in Marsabit County originally made up of 5 districts, but now 7 Districts. Marsabit is a disadvantaged predominantly rural community occupied by pastoralists with an estimated population of 291,166 people.
Marsabit County was chosen because it had over 10% trachoma (T.F of 14.1% and T.T of 1.7%) prevalence. This made the disease an issue of public health concern, based on WHO threshold for trachoma control. The project was set to benefit at least 232,932 (80%) within 5 years.
The Kenya Society for the Blind has been the lead implementing agency in partnership with Government of Kenya line ministries, Faith based organization, Local and international NGOs dealing with water and sanitation, corporate entities at the ground and the local communities. This project is yet another public-private partnership where Kenya Society for the Blind in partnership with Sight Savers and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation are involved. Trachoma causes blindness and discomfort due to trichiasis, the two are precursor to economic deprivation.
In the year 2012, a total of 8 comprehensive outreaches were conducted each lasting an average of 5 working days. A total of 2,522 people with various eye ailments were screened, 367 benefited from free surgeries. From this figure, 269 were benefited from Bilamellar tarsal plate rotation (BTPR), 83 from Cataract operations (Sics + IOL) and 15 minor extra ocular surgeries like pterygium excisions, chalazion incision and curettage. 4 paediatric ophthalmic cases were screened and referred to paediatric ophthalmologists. Two with congenital cataracts and other two with unilateral traumatic cataracts both were done operation in Kikuyu Eye Unit, one of the best Eye Units in Eastern and Central Africa. This project is in year two of its implementation and effective December 2012, the lead implementer has since changed from KSB.