“If I did not receive this surgery to regain my sight I would have been very disappointed. The most value for me with these eyes is my domestic work, my cooking… the basic things. Without having this ability, I would sit here alone,” said Aissatou.
Aissatou has a large family with eight children and nine grandchildren. She lives in the northern part of Cameroon approximately 700 kilometers away from Yaoundé, Cameroon, in the Adamawa Region. Like many other members of her community, she and her husband herd cattle for a living.
In 2013, eight months prior to Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) program in Yaoundé, Cameroon, she reached a point where she could no longer see. Before the program, four granddaughters had been helping her daily with her cooking and to take care of the house. She saw very slight traces of light and shadows but couldn’t do work or help her family with their daily routine.
Working side by side with local eye care professionals, Orbis Volunteer Faculty member, Dr. Parikshit Gogate conducted cataract surgery to restore Aissatou’s vision.
Moving forward, these local physicians will be able to share their newfound knowledge, and apply these skills to help more patients like Aissatou reclaim their vision.
“Most of these eye physicians have had some kind of surgical experience—and many have performed cataract removal procedures before,” said Dr. Gogate. “Here we are attempting to add more value to it so they can manage complicated cases, get out of difficult situations, and perhaps they’ll be more confident.”