Interview with ophthalmologist surgeon Samson Akichem Lokele

of Elisabetta Corsi

Samson Akichem Lokele | Photo: Science Museum

An interview with Samson Akichem Lokele, one of the protagonist in the “Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries” a new permanent medicine gallery in Science Museum for his work in Turkana (Kenya) like Ophthalmologist Surgeon and his fight from years against trachoma disease. Trachoma is the world leading infection cause of blindness and affect more than a billion people worldwide. One of the main causes is poor hygiene. Samson Akichem Lokele works for Sightsavers Uk an international charity working to prevent avoidable blindness, support equality for people with disabilities and advocate for change.

– I think it’s not easy to be a surgeon in Africa.

Yeah, it’s not comfortable because often we have operations in a church or in a classroom or even outside, in the Kenyan Desert.

– Do you practice only a trachoma surgery or also other diseases?

Yes, I’m specialized in eyes surgery. I’m an Ophthalmologist in Kenya, in remotes and poor parts of Kenya. I’m practicing surgery trachoma and cataract surgery.

– Are you happy to be here, in the Science Museum like a protagonist in this new gallery?

I’m proud to be here in this Gallery, I’m very happy because I didn’t think I had be part to it.

– Its your first time in England?

It’s my second time, the last month I was meeting the Queen and I celebrated with her what I do in Kenya and results obtained.

– What do you do in Kenya?

I teach people like prevent Trachoma, when it’s possible I try to treat Trachoma, I give direction to defend yourself against this disease, do surgery operations and inspiring others to do well their work.

– Did you have a lot cases of trachoma?

Yes, there are a lot of cases but now are reduced, in a manageable level and we have facilities that brought for this result. In Turkania, there is neglected, marginalized, poor people and the long distances it’s an another issue. We have to crosses mountains, rivers to surgery them and take care people. We need accessible surgery, accessible care and give a these people a possibility to improve their life and their life quality. We have supported by the consortium made of Amref, Sight Savers International, Christian Blind Mission and Turkana Eye Project.

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