Melkamu Roba and Churo Ayano
As part of our fundraising trip to The Great Ethiopian Run, Addis Ababa, ORBIS Ireland sheperds a small group of supporters on a project visit. Late last year, we visited Konso, southern Ethiopia and witnessed a simple yet effective surgery being carried out on Churo Ayano. Churo is a 37 year old local man who had travelled some 10km by foot to the Konso Regional Health Centre.
Having suffered from trachoma for nearly 5 years, Churo was visiting the health centre with a friend when his condition was recognised by an ORBIS-trained nurse. Trachoma is an infectious eye disease which continues to bring pain, blindness and poverty to millions across the developing world. Trachoma is prevalent in Ethiopia. If left untreated, the eyelashes turn inwards and scar the surface of the eye. This advanced state of trachoma is known as trichiasis and causes avoidable blindness. Churo was at immediate risk of losing his sight when he was operated on by an ORBIS-trained nurse, Melkamu Roba.
The simple surgery performed on Churo has had a life-changing effect. We spoke with him shortly after his surgery and he told us that once the protective bandages are removed in a weeks time, he is most looking forward to just being like everybody else and getting back to work. Without the support of ORBIS, Churo told us that he would probably have followed the advice of his friends and removed his eyelashes himself.
On the day we visited Konso Helath Centre, there were 6 other patients waiting for surgery. The cost of each surgery is just €6 or $10. Please help us deliver the gift of sight to people like Churo.