Group awaiting their eye examination.

Patient stories: treating Muntare, Ethiopia, for cataracts

Muntare is a respected and highly influential woman in her community in Ethiopia but, for some time, has been leading a lonely and isolated life. Her husband passed away a few years ago and all of her children are now married.

One of Muntare’s grandchildren moved into her home to keep their grandmother company and to take over the running of her farm. Muntare was very strong and active in all of her chores up until five years ago when she began to experience progressive vision loss in both of her eyes. Many people of Muntare’s age realise they are finding it harder and harder to see things, and for many, this is the result of a cataract.

Group awaiting their eye examination.

When her eldest daughter recently visited her mother, she noticed that she was no longer full of life. She saw her mother struggle to walk by herself. This distressed her and she was determined to find a solution for her mother’s vision problems.

Upon receiving advice from a health extension worker, she took her mother to Areka Secondary Eye Care Centre (SECU) which is 10km away. They travelled on foot to get to the SECU. An especially impressive journey to make with Muntare’s failing eye sight and the fact she is in her 70s!

Waiting room at treatment centre.

Tilahun Atle, the cataract surgeon at Areka SECU, diagnosed Muntare with age related bilateral cataracts. For two consecutive days, surgery was conducted on both of her eyes. Both procedures went very well.

With her sight restored, Muntare is once again able to get fully involved in her community and not only that, some of her very lovely neighbours came with her for her check-up to keep her company and share in her happiness!

Help more women like Muntare make the most of their old age

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