April 2014

Eye Surgery

Leaving the Day Care Centre one morning we were confronted by an elderly lady Manteybosh looking for Sister Terfatu.  We explained that she was still in Addis Ababa. The lady told us that her sight was failing and she was finding it more and more difficult to support herself. We decided that we would take her to the local eye clinic, a place we knew well from previous visits. The next morning we went to the clinic and after several forms were filled in and stamped she received a thorough examination for the price of £3.50.  The prognosis was Cataracts in both eyes with the right eye virtually having no sight at all.  Doctor Abdul explained in his perfect English that she required an operation on her right eye.  She would need to have drops in her eye for 5 days and then as a result of the drops an operation. We purchased the prescription drops along with a bar of soap for her to wash her hands and several packets of tissues or ‘soft’ as it is called in Ethiopia.   The cost of the drops, soap and soft was about £2.

On the day of the operation a very sullen Manteybosh was waiting at the clinic. At 8.00am she had her pre-med and was told to return at 2.00pm for the operation.  Thinking back Manteybosh was totally oblivious as to what was in store but this was probably best as the two injections into the eye was enough for us. The tennis ball strapped to her head after the injections is still a mystery however.  The clinic is very basic, Manteybosh had to have a shower before her operation which was a large bucket of cold water with a smaller bucket to throw the water over herself.  Her very dirty clothes were put into a plastic carrier bag and she was given a cotton nightdress to wear along with a cotton hat and a pair of cotton boots.  The operation took about 15 minutes. No after care followed she was just told to change out of the nightdress and go home with an appointment to come back the next day for a check up.  Taking her to get a taxi along with a neighbour who had turned up to take her home we asked how it was, ‘Wonderful‘ she said and without hesitation she asked ‘When can I have the other eye done’.  We saw Manteybosh on the day we were coming home, she came to say goodbye and show us how her sight had improved she was a very happy lady.

The total cost of the operation was £52.

For further information on the Bahir Dar Projects and how you can help please email Angela and Mike on khyber.king@btinternet.com

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