Kebebush's Story

Kebebush is a 56-year-old widow and a mother of nine children. She has been suffering from low vision for over 40 years.

“It has been a while,” says Kebebush, “since I started struggling with my vision. I went to Atat Hospital when it started. I actually visited the hospital a few times when I could not get any solution for my deteriorating vision. “Even though I frequently went there for treatment, I didn’t have any improvement. I told them that my eyes still had a problem. When I told them that my eyes still had tear discharges and that they hadn’t improved, they told me that I didn’t have any issues and my eyes were ok. I asked how they could say my eyes were healthy when I still felt pain and told them that it was troubling me to see clearly.

“After a while, I gave up and stopped going to the hospital at all. I started looking for other options such as traditional medicines. I was advised to take honey for my eyesight improvement. So I started buying and taking good honey with garlic and came this far. I think it is the traditional medicine that kept my vision as long as it did.”

“When I started struggling with my vision, it started with my left eye. Eventually, both of them started to be clouded. Just recently,I went to another health center,which is found in Emdibir. I was told that I had a cataract on both of my eyes. But to do the surgery, the fat needed to be concentrated. “As I was waiting, my son who lives here in Wolkite town called and said that I shouldn’t wait this long. He expressed his fear that I would lose my eyesight in the middle of waiting and suggested that I should come and visit Wolkite health center as soon as possible. And here I am,hoping to get the help I need. [Wolkite Health Center has a secondary eye care unit that is providing a great service to the community who lives within the zone. The secondary eye care unit was established and equipped by Orbis.“Having low vision, I have had so many struggles such as being unable to move as I want to; I Couldn't go to places that are far away either and had minimal participation in my social life. Sitting at home and being idle doesn’t suit me. It gives me back pain when I sit too long. But I take a few

walks and also make coffee for myself. I haven’t completely become dependent on other people, praise be to the Lord, but I would like to do more.”

“I still go to funerals if it is in my vicinity,even if I struggle with my vision,because my community is what I have left. I also go to marketplaces and buy what I need. My youngest daughter lives with me,so she has been a great help. All my children support me financially. They are the reason I am here today at this health center. “Now we live in a time of a pandemic. It is something time has brought upon us. May God take it back! I am taking preventive precautions whenever necessary like washing my hand, keeping personal hygiene, washing utensils properly, and keeping household hygiene. We have avoided handshaking and kissing. And most importantly I have stopped drinking coffee with my neighbors[as a social activity]. We usually get together for coffee every day in one of our houses, but after the pandemic, we had to stop meeting to protect one another. We have been taught about the virus through radio and a town crier. Our children also tell us. “Because of the pandemic, roads have been closed and our children couldn’t pay a visit. It has become impossible to work as people used to do. Everyone is warned to stay at home. It has caused many problems. May God vanish it! May our children be able to go out freely!”

Kebebush had successful cataract surgery on both of her eyes. We met her a day after her surgery. She was very happy to finally see clearly,which had been impossible for her for the past 40 years.

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