Now I just see blurry - Medin had been plugging her eye-lashes for eight years because of disease called Trachom
A beautiful woman, named Medin, had been plugging her eyelashes so she could get rid of a constant pain cause by infection disease called trachom. This disease causes eye-lashes to curl into the eye where it continues to painfully scratch the cornea and it can lead to permanent blindness.
There are 94 million people living in Ethiopia. There are only 104 eye doctors, which means that there is one doctor for 903.000 inhabitants. Eye health care is for most Ethiopians unavailable and they quite often cannot deal with their eyesight problems. There are 1.2 million blind people in Ethiopia and almost every sixth Ethiopian suffers an eyesight disease. But in fact, it is possible to prevent 87% of cases, including Medin’s story.
Medin sits covered in gray blankets with her sixty-year old husband on a patio of health center Meseret, so she can recover after a medical intervention. Her right eye is patched with bandage. Roughly ten minutes ago, she underwent a surgery of her eyelid - a small and quick cut that prevented her from losing her sight for good.
Medin (from Mereb Meitti, Tigray region, Ethiopia) had suffered for almost eight years from painful eye disease called trachom without recieving any help. Her eye was not protected by eyelashes after a few bacterial infections. Her eyelashes started to curl into the eye and Medin was scratching her cornea with every blink of her eye. “Now I just see blurry,” says Medin. Her condition made it impossible for her to work on a field and contribute to the family budget.
Medin tried to cope with the permanent pain by plugging her eyelashes with tweezers to relieve her from the pain. But the eyelashes grow back and not fully plugged eyelash damages the cornea even more. Medin eventually got help from a fellow villager who informed her about a free surgery. Thanks to this, Medin was able to obtain a medical help and got rid of the constant pain of her eyelashes scratching the cornea and avoided losing her sight.