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Peek wins prestigious African Union award for innovation

The Peek team are presented with the 2018 AAPSIA trophy at the African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Credit: Peek Vision

Peek Vision’s school eye health screening and treatment programme in Kenya has been announced as the overall winner of the 2018 All African Public Service Innovation Awards (AAPSIA 2018) at a ceremony held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Working with the Kenyan Ministries of Health and Education, Operation Eyesight Universal and the Kitale Eye Unit at Kitale District Hospital, the Peek team in Kenya have screened all 200,000 school children in Trans Nzoia county using Peek’s innovative smartphone-based technology, in just two years. 

“It is a great honour to receive this award, and a testament to the hard work and co-operation of everybody who works on the Peek eye health project in Kenya,” said Dr. Hillary Rono, who leads Peek’s operations in Kenya, is chief ophthalmologist at the Kitale Eye Unit, and a PhD student at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 

“We hope that what we are working together to achieve in Kenya can also inspire others to use innovation and partnerships to bring improvements to the lives of people across Africa.”

The AAPSIA awards promote and encourage innovative practices for public sector services, with entrants from across the continent.  The program recognizes and rewards the success of the workforce and their private and nonprofit sector partners that have successfully developed innovative solutions.  In addition to being announced as overall winner of the awards, the Peek school eye health programme won first place in the category of Innovation Service Delivery.

“We are proud to be associated with this award, as it is a great example of what we can achieve through strategic partnership and collaboration,” said Kashinath Bhoosnurmath, Global Director – Programmes at Operation Eyesight Universal, a Canada-based international development organization and the implementing partner of the project in Kenya. 

“We’re grateful to the Government of Kenya and Trans Nzoia County Government for providing a conducive environment for the project to be delivered.  We’d also like to thank the innovators of Peek technology and our funder, Seeing is Believing, for believing in us to demonstrate that Peek is a reliable and efficient school screening tool.”

As a result of the Peek screening programme, 4,000 children have received free eye health treatment such as surgery, spectacles, and medication since 2015.  A trial is now underway to screen members of the community of all ages.  This programme will cover a population of approximately 120,000 people in 36 different local regions using the same technology, with free treatment provided to anybody who requires it. 

In addition to continuing its school and community eye health screening programmes, in 2019 Peek plans to launch a Centre of Excellence in Kitale, Kenya.  This will enable Peek to build on the expertise already established in Kenya to develop a highly-skilled team to continuously improve health systems, nationally and globally. 

The Peek programme in Kenya has been supported by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Seeing is Believing, Operation Eyesight Universal, and CBM International.