Stories from the Field
Talking to patients gives us a unique perspective on the impact restoring a person´s sight can have on their day-to-day lives. Every one of them has a story worth sharing.
Stories from Ghana
David Ayiko, seen here on the right, is a 37-year-old from Balungu in the Upper East Region of Ghana. He recounts that whilst working sharpening knives one day he felt something strange in his eye:
“It was so painful that I could not sleep at night with tears flowing from my left eye”
David decide he needed to go to hospital but without any way of getting there, he asked the local nurse if he could borrow a motorbike.
Luckily, upon arrival at the local health centre, Raymond, a VFAN-trained nurse had other plans. Thanks to his training in Primary Eye Care, Raymond knew he could help David there and then. David was not initially as convinced:
“Initially I thought he was joking but decided to give him the chance. Within 15 minutes he had removed two tiny metal particles from my left eye! I felt relieved immediately. I started telling everyone that our CHPS compound now has nurses trained to take care of eyes”
Stories from Rwanda
At the age of 38, Constazia lost her husband and one of their six children during the genocide. She and her other five children survived together, rebuilding their lives incrementally over the past 21 years. about 3 years ago,
Constazia’s vision started to fail her, eventually getting so severe that she was unable to see who was coming right in front of her.
“I thought ‘I am going to be blind forever.’ ” Glasses improved her sight immediately. “These glasses will be so helpful to me… I am so happy to feel more independent again.”
A few years ago, Veneranda began experiencing vision problems, which first manifested as an “endless headache.”
Soon she was unable to mend clothes for her children, and her vision became so poor that she could no longer cook for her family, and was housebound after dark.
Glasses have transformed her life: “These glasses will help me a lot, and I will greatly benefit from having improved vision; all my days and my life will be different.”
Pascal is one of the nurses working at Mukono Health Centre.
Until recently, he had not received training in eye care and was unable to provide treatment to those in need. Vision for a Nation training has allowed pascal to screen patients and provide on-the spot medication and glasses.
He says: “When patients have had poor vision for a long time and then I give them glasses, it is like I am witnessing miracle after miracle…”.