Kelifa's Story

Kelifa is 42 years old and a health officer. He is currently working on Zithromax distribution, while also creating COVID precaution awareness and screening patients with Trichiasis.

“Trained by Orbis, I worked on TT surgeries for over 10 years. I was a diploma graduate back then. I have upgraded to degree now.”

“I previously had training on TT (trachomatous trichiasis) surgery. I used to do TT surgeries when I was working at the health centre. However, I am now working at the health office, at the Gunchire district health unit.”

“As we distribute Zithromax now, we are also screening people with Trachoma, or active Trachoma. If we identify people with TT, we immediately refer them to the nearest health centre. If we encounter people with trachoma, we treat them TTC (Tetracycline) and we also provide them with health education on their facial hygiene that they should wash their face 3 to 5 times a day with soap and water. Since the Woreda is around a city, there is better awareness.”

“The community already knows the benefit of the medicine because it has been distributed in previous rounds. But the medicine alone could not eradicate trachoma–we have to work on environmental hygiene as well. This has touched my heart that we are not able to eradicate it after all these MDAs; we have been working with this in mind.”

“In this area trachoma cases have reduced significantly in the past years. The community has good awareness. There has been a distribution of the medicine more than 10 times. When patients who have contracted TT get surgery for free at the health centres, health extension workers also give lessons.”

“I have worked for many years with Orbis. Of all NGOs, Orbis is the organization that is working on the most important share of work. I appreciate the work Orbis is doing. And it is important to do so. I want to express my gratitude towards Orbis for all the work it does on sanitation work, treating eye patients, distributing medicine, and training professionals who will perform surgery.”

“While we are working to reduce trachoma, we wouldn’t want our beneficiaries to contract corona virus along the way. For this reason, we are being very careful. We are also screening patients with TT and referring them to the health centre side by side is an additional job. I would like to thank Orbis’ support for providing everything we need including PPE.”

“We have been supplied with all the important preventive equipment by Orbis. We have a sufficient supply of sanitizers, masks including TTC. There is nothing we lack when it comes to preventive equipment. We are also supplied with Zithromax beforehand as they used to, and we are distributing. For this, I commend Orbis.”

“COVID has impacted the lives of the community because people are now unable to go to market places and sell as they used to. It has affected the social life of the community. There was a knowledge gap at some point but we have created awareness again and the community has started to take precautions again. Schools were closed due to the pandemic and are reopened again. When we are teaching the community about COVID, they have started to take precautions against, wearing masks and using sanitizers. Even though there is an economic impact, we are striving to resist the effect.”

“I want to acknowledge Orbis for all the things it is doing for the community by distributing medicines and giving health education lessons. There are many good organizations, but I see Orbis as special for the work it does on eye care service and I commend that.”