A Grandmother’s Vision
Story from the field: An estimated 100,000 Zambians suffer from blindness. With three-quarters of its population living in poverty, Zambia is one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Orbis partners with Zambia’s Ministry of Health to build capacity within the overburdened and under-resourced health care system.
Angela, a grandmother of five, lives in the small village of Kanyama, Zambia, 45 miles from the nearest hospital. In 2012, Angela began losing the vision in her left eye, and by June 2013 she was blind in both eyes. Without her vision she was unable to carry out her normal activities and no longer able to care for her grandchildren. Angela visited her local health clinic and was diagnosed with cataracts. But to receive treatment, she needed to travel to Orbis’s partner Mwinilunga District Hospital (MDH), which is over 45 miles away from where she lives. With MDH being so far from her home and having no way to easily get there, Angela did not receive treatment for over 10 months after being diagnosed.
“It was very bad for me and I did not feel okay. I felt so bad having to rely on others for everything,” she explained.
After learning about an Orbis outreach eye clinic at MDH, Angela's son and two grandchildren decided they should take the long journey to the clinic in hopes of helping Angela regain her vision. To get to the clinic, they rode their bicycles over 45 miles to MDH to seek treatment for their grandmother.
Upon arriving to MDH, Duncan, the Ophthalmic Clinical Officer at MDH, screened Angela and scheduled her for treatment to remove her cataracts. After a successful surgery, Angela regained her vision and is now able to once again care for her grandchildren and contribute to her family and community.
Read more about Duncan and his passion for eye health here.