“It seems to me that I have been blessed with two new eyes”

In April billions of people across the world mark religious festivals and celebrations. For many, reading and reciting their religious text is of deep importance at this time. But for Ambiya and Alexander, in Bangladesh and Ghana respectively, this was made impossible when their sight was taken away by cataracts.

Ambiya’s Story

“I would read the holy Quran every day. But when my eyesight started to blur a few years ago I could no longer read”

Ambiya was living in Myanmar when her eyesight began to blur. But in 2017, along with her family and over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims, she fled the country to escape persecution. The agony of having to flee her home was made even harder because she couldn’t see. After an arduous journey, she eventually arrived in Bangladesh and has been lived in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp ever since.

Ambiya at home in Cox's Bazar

“In Myanmar I couldn’t have the problem with my eyes treated, as I couldn’t access eye care services. My condition got worse with the passage of time. It reached the point where I couldn’t even leave my house without someone’s help.”

Alexander's Story

Alexander from Ghana had been suffering with vision problems for at least a year: “When walking it was as if it was dark during the day.”

Before his sight deteriorated, he worked as a Store Manager for the Ghana Armed Forces, a job he’d held for 39 years. But his cataracts made work too difficult, and he had no choice but to give up his livelihood.

Alexander getting his eyes checked

At home he could no longer do the things he loved. He couldn’t read his bible or see his six children and twelve grandchildren anymore. He had never seen his youngest grandchild who was born after his sight had deteriorated: “I couldn’t see his face, but when I held him, I knew the baby was fine.”

The Power of Sight Saving Treatment

Thanks to your support we can be there for people like Ambiya and Alexander. To provide the sight saving treatment they desperately need and bring back the chance to see and do the things that bring them joy.

In 2019, as part of our training programme in Ghana, Alexander received cataract surgery at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Not only was his surgery a success, but local eye care teams who were able to observe learned valuable surgical skills from Orbis’s medical volunteers.

Alexander could see the difference in his sight as soon as his bandages were removed the next day: “I can see everything…God bless you all for doing this.”

Alexander post-surgery

For Ambiya in Cox’s Bazar, she had lost all hope of ever getting the treatment she needed to restore her sight. But when her son’s friend told her there was a Vision Centre near her home and advised her to go, she visited without delay.

“The doctor examined my eyes and told me I needed cataract surgery. I took no time to agree to it.”

Ambiya received cataract surgery in October 2021 followed by a pair of glasses all free of charge.

“It seems like I have been blessed with two new eyes. What is more important for me is that I can now read the holy Quran and do all the household work I could before my vision problems.”

We Couldn’t Do This Without You

We couldn’t help people like Ambiya and Alexander without your support. Please consider a donation today so we can continue our sight saving work across the world.

To save sight and change lives across the world

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