Road towards the Light

Warkitu Gaba Korsa is already blind on one eye. With the other she can see very little. She suffers from the eye infection trachoma.

The disease causes Warkitu’s eyelashes to curve to the inside where they turn into sharp needles. With every blink of the eye these needles rub harder on the cornea. Slight itching turns into stabbing pain causing a scarred, cloudy cornea. So much so that Warkitu soon only sees the outlines of objects. In the end she is only able to differentiate between light and dark. In two, three weeks or maybe a month she will be blind. Her only hope lies in a surgery to prevent further destruction of the cornea with an incision made through the upper eyelid.

This hope could now turn into reality because Warkitu heard of the possibility to be operated by Menschen für Menschen. Hiot, Warkitu’s granddaughter, will accompany her on the long walk to the health station to make sure the old woman gets there safe and sound. Hiot takes care of her grandmother and runs her household.

Äthiopisches Mädchen mit ihrer Großmutter in deren Heim

Before they leave Hiot prepares breakfast and brings her grandmother some water. Then it’s finally time to leave.

Äthiopisches Mädchen mit ihrer Großmutter

Filled with hope they set off on the long way from their home in the village of Temsaa to Chulute where the trachoma surgery is performed at a health station.

All in all they have to walk 30 km, in part through steep gorges, until they reach the health station.

Äthiopisches Mädchen begleitet ihre Großmutter zur Trachomoperation

Hiot does not let go of her grandmother’s hand and supports her, so that the old woman manages the long walk.

Hand in Hand

After several hours of walking they arrive at the health station in Chulute.

Ältere äthiopische Frau bei Trachomoperation

Less than 15 minutes later the surgery is over and they are happy.

Äthiopisches Mädchen mit ihrer Großmutter nach der Trachom Operation

Warkitu is relieved from her pain and her eyesight could be saved.

Äthiopisches Mädchen bei der Augenkontrolle zur Trachombekämpfung

The doctor also checks Hiot’s eyes. It turns out that Hiot already suffers from the eye infection trachoma, too, and has to be treated. She is fortunate to finally have access to medical care so that her disease could be diagnosed early enough. This saves her from the terrible pain her grandmother had to endure for many years. With antibiotics she can be healed quickly.

Girl accompanies her grandmother to the trachoma eye surgery

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10 Euro pay for one trachoma eye surgery.