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Thousands of blind Karimojong can now see, thanks to modern surgery

Specialized doctors operating a trachoma patient in Moroto hospital recently

Moroto, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | Being blind for years and then one day you can see the beauty of creation and technology is like a miracle. But modern Science can appear to be miraculous, and such is what happened to Ms Grace Nachap one of the victims of trachoma in Karamoja.

Nachap recalls how she used to miss seeing many good things changing in Karamoja because she was blind but currently she has regained her sight after undergoing sight surgery. She now enjoys every minute she is awake because she can see.

World Health Organization   (WHO) describes trachoma as an eye infection affecting both eyes which is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatisis, and is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness.

According to the World Health organization   the earliest stage of trachoma causes conjunctivitis (pink eye. This disease is the most common disease in Karamoja and it had affected nearly 25,000 people in the whole region.

Grace Nachap recalls how she used to miss seeing many good things changing in Karamoja because she was blind but currently she has regain her sight and hold it so precious.

“This is one of the most dangerous disease someone should suffer from because it does not allow you see any object; you move according to the mercy of someone leading you,” she explains.

Betty Angolere another mother who regained her sight after she was operated told URN in Moroto that during her bind times, she would never argue with anyone who was leading her because she feared being misled.

“It’s better for someone to be born while blind because God gives that person ways and senses in whatever he or she is doing, than someone born seeing to become blind because of trachoma at the older age,” she says.

Ms Nachap and Angolere are not the only ones, as many other mothers and men who were blind as a result of trachoma have regained their sights after they were operated.

Moses Dengel another patient recovered from trachoma, says the disease had made his life unbearable.

“I used to survive on handouts but now since I was operated am able to see, do home work and even garden work so now once again I am now independent,” he said.

This eye operation from various health facilities in Karamoja was funded by USAID through Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and the ministry of health. That support has made the region bring down cases of trachoma through massive hygiene involving sanitation promotion and mass  drug administration.

URN learnt that the district health departments in the region have also conducted series of operation against trachoma outreaches in Amudat district, which was the most affected district and have successfully operated up to 1,600 people.

Dr. Patrick Sagati the district hospital medical superintendent told URN that district was no longer receiving new cases of trachoma apart from the old cases that the district is treating.

Dr. James Lemukol  the district health director of Napak  also said  that they have achieved a lot in the fight against the trachoma epidemic but warned that the good results that they have so far achieved  might be affected if the people continue having difficulty in accessing clean water sources.

Mr. Francis Kiyonga the district LCV chairperson of Amudat said the current results achieved in the fight against trachoma is also in line of the commitment that the district leaders of Karamoja made in October 2016 during the declaration to fight trachoma in Moroto district.

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URN

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