Alemnesh, 11 – Trichiasis

    Alemnesh was one of many suffering from trichiasis in Ethiopia, a horrible eye condition where your eyelids turn inwards and the lashes then scratch painfully and relentlessly against the eyes, every time you blink.

    In Alemnesh’s remote village, the rate of repeated trachoma infections, which so frequently lead to trichiasis, is especially high. Also trachoma is three times more likely to infect women and girls due to their role as carers – which puts an additional burden on their families.

    Fortunately, when Alemnesh was visiting her grandmother, a local health worker dropped in to do a routine check. She recognised Alemnesh’s symptoms and took her to the health centre, where Alemnesh met Tsehay, who had just finished her training as an Orbis Integrated Eye Care Worker. Tsehay would perform vital yet simple surgery on Alemnesh and finally relieve her of the pain.

    For the first time in months, Alemnesh felt no pain and her vision was clear. She was eager to return to school and work hard because, as she said, “Opportunity always helps people like me.”

    There are many who have been waiting years for our help. Training someone like Tsehay costs as little as £10 a day – donate today and give a child like Alemnesh their future back.

    Asegedech, 13 – trachoma

    Asegedech is 13 and has been suffering from the eye infection trachoma for over two years. Initially her mother took her to a traditional healer which only made her condition worse.

    One day an Orbis trained Integrated Eye Care Worker was visiting Asegedech’s village and noticed her weeping and sore eyes. Asegedech was prescribed an antibiotic, which she collected from a town three hours away on foot. Asegedech was finally treated for trachoma and is no longer in pain.

    Women and girls are three times as likely to be affected by trachoma. A gift of £20 pays for enough antibiotics to treat trachoma infection in 120 people.

    Daniel, 13 – trichiasis

    Daniel, 13, had been suffering with itchy, painful and sensitive eyes since he was 10.

    He was diagnosed with trichiasis – the latter stage of trachoma where the eyelids turn in and the lashes scrape the eyeball, causing a huge amount of pain and often permanent blindness.

    Initially Daniel resisted treatment as he was too scared. His eyes got worse and he dropped out of school.

    At last an Orbis trained community health worker persuaded him to have surgery. It was successful and immediately his thoughts turned to going back to school. He says: “I got my clear vision back, along with my hope.”

    Trichiasis surgery costs as little as £5.35 – donate today and give a child like Daniel their future back.

    Aylito, 38 – trichiasis

    Aylito, 38, has eight children. She spends her days working the land to provide for them. Having already lost the vision in one eye she was devastated when the other became painful and difficult to see through, threatening her livelihood and ability to take care of her family.

    Aylito was diagnosed with trichiasis – the latter stage of trachoma where the eyelids turn in and the lashes scrape the eyeball, often causing permanent blindness.

    An Orbis trained Integrated Eye Care Worker performed surgery on Aylito’s eye, which only took 15 minutes. Her sight was restored and she is once again able to play an active role in family life.

    It costs as little as £5.35 to pay for eyelid surgery, donate today and help women like Aylito regain their independence.

  • Alemnesh, 11 – Trichiasis

    Read her story

  • Asegedech, 13 – trachoma

    Read her story

  • Daniel, 13 – trichiasis

    Read his story

  • Aylito, 38 – trichiasis

    Read her story