Project #8443

Simple Surgery to Restore Sight in Ethiopia

by Orbis Ireland
Sep 21, 2012

Sight Saving Surgery for Desalech Dosena age 10

Sight Saving Surgery for Desalech Dosena age 10

Desalech is a 10 year old girl who lives close to Zada in southern Ethiopia. She is a carefree girl who has a bright future ahead of her. She had been suffering from ongoing debilitating pain in her right eye for two years, which had a serious impact on her well-being and everyday life. Desalech’s discomfort continued until she could barely open her eyes and the pain of moving her eyelids was excruciating.

A Community Health Agent who was going house to house in the area brought her to the nearby Health Centre. Desalech was examined by Seifu Wanake,an ORBIS eye care worker, and Desalech was found to have trichiasis in her eye and needed corrective surgery. Trichiasis in under 15 year olds is common in the poorest areas of southern Ethiopia, where families can simply not afford treatment.

Like any 10 year old girl, Desalech was naturally terrified at first at the thought of surgery. She went ahead bravely, and after a successful surgery Desalech is now back to being her happy, lively self. At the Health Centre, Desalech was also given zithromax, a medicine that will prevent a recurrence of this disease. Three rounds of zithromax have been distributed to 97% of the population to date, kindly donated by Pfizer.

Trachoma is a major cause of blindness in the world, found primarily in rural settings, like Zada. Children are most susceptible to the infection, with blinding effects of the disease often not known until adulthood. If Desalech had not received treatment for her triachiasis, it is highly likely that she would have become blind due to scarring of the cornea.

To reduce the episodes of trachoma, ORBIS is trying to eliminate trachoma in this poor region. It does this by providing corrective surgeries which cure the disease and distributing the antibiotic zithromax (kindly donated by Pfizer), educating locals on the importance of personal hygiene and improving sanitation by providing clean water and building latrines. With your support we can continue to work towards completely transforming this region so the next generation can grow up free of the threat of blindness and children like Desalech can enjoy once more, a happy carefree childhood, free from unnecessary pain.


September 2012



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Organization Information

Orbis Ireland

Location: Sandyford, Dublin - Ireland
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Diane Weatherup
Development Manager
Sandyford, Dublin Ireland

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