Patient Story: The Three Sisters
At an HCP outreach at the Woldia Specialized Hospital in Ethiopia, we met the three Teshome sisters: 10-year-old Makoya, eight-year-old Tejitu and six-year-old Addise. All three girls were suffering from vision problems.
Makoya, Tejitu and Addise had unilateral cataracts. Mekoya and Tejitu left school when they could no longer read or write properly due to their impaired vision. Their father, Ato Teshome, is a farmer, and did not have the financial means to take them to Woldia Specialized Hospital where they could receive treatment.
Instead, Ato took them to a nearby health center but was told the center was not equipped to provide the level of eye care needed to treat the sisters.
Staff at the health center offered to keep Ato informed about eye care opportunities that could help the girls. In early June, when HCP partnered with the Woldia Specialized Hospital to hold an outreach, staff at the health center called Ato and advised him to bring his daughters.
At the outreach, all three girls were examined and treated. An Ethiopian ophthalmologist, Dr. Kindye Wale, performed cataract surgeries that restored the sisters’ vision. Ato was overjoyed that his daughters could see again and expressed gratitude to the medical team and HCP for giving them back their lives.
Childhood blindness can be devastating if left untreated, but for Makoya, Tejitu and Addise, successful surgery means looking forward to returning to school and enjoying time with their parents free from the burden of unnecessary blindness.