Orbis Ireland

Orbis' mission is to preserve and restore sight by strengthening the capacity of local partners in their efforts to prevent and treat blindness with the vision that this will lead to a world in which no one is needlessly blind, where quality eye care, education, and treatment are available to every human being.
May 13, 2015

The impact of WATER

Children are educated to wash hands at school
Children are educated to wash hands at school

Trachoma is an infection of the eyes that may result in blindness after repeated re-infections. It is the world's leading cause of preventable blindness and occurs where people live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to water and health care. Trachoma spreads easily from person to person and is frequently passed from child to child and from child to mother within the family.

Primary interventions advocated for preventing trachoma infection include improved sanitation, reduction of fly breeding sites and increased facial cleanliness (with clean water) among children at risk of disease. 

Good personal and environmental hygiene has been proven to be successful in combating trachoma. Encouraging the washing of children's faces, improved access to water, and proper disposal of human and animal waste has been shown to decrease the number of trachoma infections in communities.

Orbis is currently working in the most rural areas of southern Ethiopia, where clean water is scarce, to ensure that everyone has access to clean water to wash, cook and clean. 

Thanks to your support Orbis will continue to provide access to clean water to communities across southern Ethiopia. 

 

Children collect clean water for their households
Children collect clean water for their households
May 13, 2015

A Young Boy Supports his Mother through Surgery

Halge is examined before surgery
Halge is examined before surgery

Halge is a mother of five children and she works as a farmer. Her husband passed away two years ago. For four months Halge suffered with the dreadful pain of trachoma. Both eyes were affected and her eyelids had turned inwards. This meant that every time she blinked her eyelashes would scratch the cornea and cause agonising pain. As the pain and discomfort grew, she was unable to cook for her children as the heat from the fire aggravated her condition.

Her 13 year old son, Kunse accompanied her to the clinic in Konso. He was forced to drop out of school when his father passed away in order to help with the farm and looking after his four siblings. Kunse was understandably very scared when he saw his mother on the operating table.  Zinabu, an Orbis trained integrated eye care worker, spoke to Halge throughout the surgery and reassured Kunse that he was helping his mother.

Halge’s surgery took less than 20 minutes. She was given a local anaesthetic so felt no pain. She was also given an antiseptic cream to take home and apply to her eyes until they were fully healed.

Luckily Kunse was on hand to help his mother. He bent down and put her shoes on for her then took her hand to lead her out of the operating room.

It is with thanks to our most generous donors that allows Orbis to continue to train eye care workers like Zinabu. These eye care workers are vital to the elimination of trachoma. Allowing more women like Halge to regain their sight. 

THANK YOU! 

Halge is prepped for surgery
Halge is prepped for surgery
Kunse helps his mother
Kunse helps his mother
May 13, 2015

The impact of school eye care clubs

School children watch a play by the eye club
School children watch a play by the eye club

Set up to bring awareness and understanding to areas struggling with trachoma in Ethiopia, school eye care clubs are a vital tool in the drive to educate communities across about keeping their eyes and their families healthy.

The eye care clubs are run by a number of students who are educated, by their teachers, on good eye care practices. These teachers are trained by skilled Orbis workers on primary eye care and vision testing. These teachers are vital in recognising vision problems and eye diseases, like trachoma.

The trained teachers recognise the impact of educating children on the importance of hand washing, proper latrine use and hygiene, in order to prevent trachoma. The students then communicate to their fellow students in a variety of ways, including singing songs and drama.

The eye care clubs perform different treatment scenarios to the school. They split into two groups, each representing families: one demonstrating the correct way to respond when suffering from an eye infection, the other highlighting the opposite.

These clubs play an enormous role in educating the community. With some schools having thousands of students, the important messages regarding hygiene, quick action and appropriate treatment, have the capacity to reach a vast amount of people at risk of this painful and debilitating condition.

Through your generosity to Orbis you help us to set up more clubs to educate those in at-risk communities about the prevention and treatment of avoidable eye care conditions.

School girls sing about eliminating trachoma
School girls sing about eliminating trachoma
 

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