“It has been 6 months since I lost my eyesight,” said Gebre, when we met him at Wolikite Health Center, a Secondary Eye Care Unit, which is supported by Orbis. 55 year old Gebre from Ethiopia told us his story.

I used to sell traditional/​local fab­rics, [which are] used to make tra­di­tion­al dress­es and scarfs. I have stopped work­ing since Sep­tem­ber (2020). When [my eye­sight] got worse, it restrict­ed me from work­ing. I came here with the help and sup­port of my old­est son. I have 7 chil­dren: a few of them are work­ing in busi­ness, and the rest dropped out of school to work in agri­cul­ture. I have two chil­dren who live with me currently.
My wife stays at home help­ing out with the house­hold chores. So, when I learnt my vision was dete­ri­o­rat­ing, I was a lit­tle shocked and got wor­ried about the family’s finan­cial sit­u­a­tion. So when I heard about the ser­vice being pro­vid­ed at this health cen­tre, I did not think twice. I need­ed to come here to find a solution.”
When I couldn’t car­ry on with my work, I start­ed farm­ing because my pre­vi­ous work required me to trav­el to get the fab­rics, which has become dif­fi­cult. Even farm­ing was chal­leng­ing, but I had to do some­thing. To add insult to injury, the pan­dem­ic hap­pened. My only option is to pro­tect myself and my fam­i­ly by wear­ing a mask, wash­ing hands regularly, ”

Gebre had successful cataract surgery on both of his eyes. The day after his surgery, he was very happy to witness a remarkable vision improvement in both of his eyes.

I can see clear­ly now. I did regret for not com­ing to this health cen­tre ear­li­er. If God wills, I will take some break until my eye get stronger, and then I’ll go back to work!”
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