Jo Howard of Sightsavers recently traveled to Sambia to get an idea of how the organization was helping the people in the area who either had or were at risk of the blinding bacterial infection known as trachoma. There are many barriers that the people working with Sightsavers face while they are trying to save the eyesight of the underprivileged people in the world. In Zambia in particular, one of the doctors who do outreach work for Sightsavers travels to the remote villages by using a motorbike. For this doctor, it’s not just a job to help these people in need.
For Sightsavers one of the biggest difficulties in treating the people in these impoverished villages is the fact that they are essentially inaccessible by large vehicles. In fact, when the doctor from Sightsavers was traveling to one of these villages, it was necessary to stop and dig his car out because of the sand. When they were finally able to make it to this village, they were able to treat several children suffering from trachoma.
The children that Sightsavers treated were sweet and very grateful for the assistance. One girl spoke about the severe pain that the disease caused that still did not prevent her from going to school to receive an education. Without the much-needed treatment, the Sightsavers doctor confirmed that she would indeed eventually go blind in three years or less.
To treat the people in the village who were suffering from the disease, antibiotics were prescribed and a follow-up visit was scheduled for the near future. In order to prevent future reoccurrences of the disease, members of the village were taught the importance of maintaining sanitation even in the difficult position they were in. The experience left the volunteers optimistic that the situation in the village would improve.
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