Patients in Cameroon.

Gransnet meets Orbis patients in Cameroon

January 2018

Cari Rosen is author, writer and editor of Gransnet – a social networking site for the over 50s. She recently visited the Flying Eye Hospital and our partners in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to meet women losing their sight and join our medical volunteers while they trained local doctors.

You can read more about Cari’s trip in the latest (23-30th January 2018) ‘My Weekly’ magazine. 

Cari met 60-year-old grandmother Honorine. Honorine’s cataract was so severe that she could no longer cook or sew. While Honorine still worked, she could barely see the machete she used as a peanut and maize farmer, so was terrified she would hurt herself. Gransnet's Cari had previously had a cataract removed – only Cari’s was spotted early on in a routine eye examination. In contrast to Honorine, Cari’s cataract was spotted so early she had not noticed its effects. Her only inconvenience was not being able to drive for two weeks after the operation to have it removed.

Gransnet editor Cari Rosen met grandmother Honorine 3000 miles away in Cameroon.

Gransnet editor Cari Rosen met grandmother Honorine 3000 miles away in Cameroon

When Honorine discovered Orbis would support her treatment on our Flying Eye Hospital and she wouldn’t need to find the 250,000 francs she thought she would need for the routine cataract surgery, Honorine and her family were so grateful. And when she heard she was one of the first women to be operated on, she believed it was a ‘miracle’.

Watch: Honorine undergoes treatment on our Flying Eye Hospital

Of the 253 million visually impaired people worldwide, 80% are aged 50 years and older 

(Source: Community Eye Health Journal)

Cameroon patient Honorine being screened for cataract

Honorine is first screened by Orbis volunteer surgeon Dr. Sil at Yaoundé Central Hospital

A follow up on how Honorine’s cataract surgery went will be featured next week on orbis.org.

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