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Prof. Bukhala (right) during the function

Speaking at the event the Manager, Global Development and Government Relations for Special Olympics Africa, Ms. Susan Masila pointed out that the main reasons for conducting Healthy Athlete Screening functions include the need to examine the athletes, connect the athletes to healthcare system and to create awareness for the needs of patients with intellectual disabilities. The screening event tries to bridge this gap by conducting non -invasive diagnostics then referring them to appropriate health institutions for management,” said Ms. Masila.

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MMUST 5th year student conducting Opening Eye screening on an athlete.

The National Director for Special Olympics Kenya, Mr. Raphael Nyabala who was present during the event appreciated MMUST’s partnership with Special Olympics Kenya, saying that it would yield great gains for both parties. “MMUST has been a partner with Special Olympics Kenya, especially in the component of Optometry and Vision Care. We really appreciate MMUST for taking a bold step in supporting inclusive healthcare for persons with intellectual disabilities,” noted Mr. Nyabala. He added that as the Director of Special Olympics Kenya, he chose MMUST for the screening function since the institution has one of the long serving volunteers for Special Olympics Kenya. The Special Olympics volunteer is Prof. Peter Bukhala who has served for over thirty (30) years.  

Prof. Bukhala, the team leader for MMUST said that the event was held in MMUST in order to enlighten MMUST’s students through such special trainings. “I applaud MMUST’s students who volunteered during the screening event. I also take this opportunity to encourage MMUST’s staff to find ways of serving the less privileged in the society,” stated Prof. Bukhala.

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A team of Healthy Hearing specialists conducting hearing screening during the function.

Mr. Kinoti Magiri, who works with Special Olympics Kenya, in charge of Healthy Hearing station, said that screening for Heathy Hearing enables the athletes to lead a comfortable life, particularly during sporting events.

According to the Director- MedFest, Dr. Andrew Karani, MedFest screening focuses on head-to-toe medical examination. It helps in identifying any possible chronic illnesses and to ensure fitness for sports amongst children with intellectual disabilities.


A team of MedFest specialists (in blue) during one of the screening sessions.

The screening event had five (5) different stations namely; Special Smiles, MedFest, Healthy Hearing, Health Promotion and Opening Eyes. The Clinical Director for Special Needs Kenya, Dr. Esther Ndai, handled Special Smiles screening station which focused on the overall oral health of the athletes, noting that Special Smiles screening examines the mouth to check for probable tooth decay and gum issues. She indicated that the purpose for Special Smiles screening is to create awareness amongst children with intellectual disabilities.

The Senior Cataract Surgeon at Lions Sight First Eye Hospital and Clinical Director for Opening Eyes at Special Olympics Kenya, Mr. Asacha Solomon, oversaw the screening station dubbed ‘Opening Eyes.’ Mr. Asacha was assisted by MMUST’s staff as well as 4th and 5th year students from the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences.

“The purpose of Opening Eye screening is to carry out a complete eye examination, identify any eye issues and offer corrective management measures required,” stated Mr. Asacha.


MMUST’s 5th Year Optometry students during the screening exercise.

The Clinical Director for Health Promotion at Special Olympics Kenya, Ms. Julie Kitala, who was also present during the screening, noted that Health Promotion screening focuses on nutrition status, hygiene issues, physical exercises and the weight of the athlete.

 By: Dr. Lydia Anyonje Jairus Korir

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