A young girl washes her hands with the clean water
I recently returned from a trip to Bonke in southern Ethiopia where Orbis is implementing the SAFE strategy in order to eliminate a blinding and life destroying eye disease - trachoma.
I met with my Ethiopian colleagues who explained the four aspects of the SAFE strategy - Surgery, Antibiotics, Face Washing and Environment. Each of these four components are vital in order to eradicate this horrific disease. I was priviledged enough to witness, firsthand the impact of Orbis' work.
Our first stop was the local school, which is situated in the most beautiful setting amongst the lush green hills of southern Ethiopia - a landscape that surprised me. There we were greeted with a welcome song and dance followed by a drama showing one boy being brought to the local health centre and being cured of trachoma and the other being brought to the traditional healer and suffering immense pain without being cured.
These children are part of school eye care clubs and they teach their fellow students, families and communities the importance of washing their face and hands in order to keep diseases, like trachoma, at bay.
The students were so proud to show off their Orbis-funded toilets at the school, built in 2013. Prior to this the kids would defacate in the surrounding fields, spreading disease. The use of toilets is a massive contributing factor to the reduction of trachoma in these areas.
We were also shown a nearby clean water supply. The children were so proud to show us both the toilets and the water supply. I was delighted to see so many clean faces and to hear the school children's enthusiasm for demonstrating good sanitation.
The development in this area is immense and Orbis is making real strides in eliminating this painful and torturous eye disease. That is only half the story however, Orbis is completely transforming this region by improving the awareness surrounding personal hygiene and providing much needed clean water.
This impact is due to the support of people like you - thank you!
This girl keeps her face and eyes clean
Orbis Eye Care Clubs