Surgical Outreach in Bisidimo Helps Patients Near and Far
HCP’s work continues to help those affected by needless blindness, even through the ongoing pandemic. These outreach efforts are planned in coordination with on-the-ground teams and adhere to Covid-19 protocols enacted by local governments to ensure the health and safety of the patients and medical providers. Additional space and precautions are essential to keeping everyone safe and healthy while working to eliminate as much needless blindness as possible.
Ethiopian eye care professionals joined Dr. Segni Jalqaba at Bisidimo Hospital in Ethiopia and completed 262 cataract surgeries and 112 trachomatous trichiasis (TT) surgeries at a surgical outreach over the last ten days of October. The team surpassed their initial target of 200 cataract surgeries and extended the outreach to meet patient demand and provide care for as many people as possible.
Sight-restorting surgeries are more than just numbers and patient tallies. The surgeries for each patient bring life changing care and the joy of independence regained. Ahmed Mume was one of the patients who received treatment in Bisidimo after waiting patiently for HCP’s surgical events to resume after the onset of the pandemic.
All of Ahmed's eight children are married and have families of their own. After Ahmed lost his sight over a year ago, one of his sons had to move back home to care for his father and the farm. His son Chala brought him to Bisidimo Hospital where a successful surgery restored his vision.
Ahmed could not wait to return home to Garamuleta to spread the good news to others who have lost their sight. He spoke blessings to everyone that helped change his life from darkness to light.
Another patient who traveled to Bisidimo for treatment was Nuria Mahamed Abdela. Nuria is a 60-year-old mother of three children. A year ago, she lost vision in both eyes and has been unable to take care of her household. Life has been difficult for Nuria as she remains at home looking after her grandson. feels guilty that her older daughter has taken over the responsibility of running both Nuria's house and her own.
Nuria lives in Lange, Ethiopia — 70 kilometers away from Bisidimo Hospital where she recently underwent surgery to restore her vision. With her sight regained, she hopes to see her grandson grow up and take responsibility for her own house.
Despite the obstacles of the last year, HCP and its partners have adapted procedures and practices in order to continue the practical work of curing blindness. Seeing a light through the darkness can inspire hope for the future.