Ethiopian student Ajebush, who was treated for myopia, in the classroom with her friends

Patient stories: treating Ajebush, Ethiopia, for myopia

Thanks to your support and the help of Orbis's community outreach programmes, Ajebush is now excelling at school in the Doyogena district of Ethiopia – but this wasn't always the case.

Ajebush had been struggling with her vision for a while, but no one was aware of the problems she was having. One day, while playing outside, one of her brothers asked her if she could see a nearby tree. She could not.

It was at that moment that the family realised that Ajebush might have issues with her vision, but they had no idea how to find a cure for their daughter’s deteriorating vision. 

Father and his daughter.

Ajebush and her father

Fortunately for Ajebush and her family, Orbis had established a school eye club that teaches children about the importance of hygiene and good eye care and trains teachers to screen for refractive errors. Ajebush was screened by the teacher, who saw that she had low vision. She was one of the many students who was referred to Amacho Health Centre for further treatment.

Accompanied by her father, Ajebush went to the Amacho Health centre. The optometrist working in the health centre, where Orbis supports the Primary Eye Care Unit and provides prescription glasses, diagnosed Ajebush with shortsightedness (myopia). Ajebush was given her first pair of glasses.

Ajebush can now see her surroundings clearly and is enjoying a happy, more fulfilled life. She recalls what it was like before she had glasses:

I used to strug­gle with my vision, and it was the rea­son for my low per­for­mance in school. But now that I got bet­ter, I want to improve my results. My life was full of anger when I couldn’t see clear­ly, and I end­ed up break­ing some things at home and when I couldn’t read a thing from the black­board. No one ever under­stood me

Her teacher also spoke about the overwhelming changes in Ajebush since she was prescribed her glasses:

I have been teach­ing Aje­bush for the last three years. I thought she had no inter­est what­so­ev­er on what was going on in this class because she nev­er par­tic­i­pat­ed and bare­ly made it to class every week. She repeat­ed both third and fourth grades due to her low per­for­mance. She ranked 53rd among the 54 stu­dents last year. But after get­ting her glass­es, she vast­ly improved and came ninth out of 50 stu­dents in the first semes­ter of 2017! This was a mir­a­cle to wit­ness. None of us thought Ajebush’s prob­lem was her vision.

In the fight against avoidable blindness, every minute matters

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