Meskenem's Story

Little Meskenem was just four years old, when she was presented by her older brother, Gabriel, for cataract screening at Karat District Hospital.

Her eyes were red-rimmed, and teary, she rubbed them constantly and looked uncomfortable.

Although the appointment for Meskenem was specifically part of an Orbis supported cataract screening programme, Mr Tilahun, the cataract surgeon, ran a quick check-up.

Her brother explained that she has had lots of tearing, and that it is very itchy for her, which is why she can’t stop touching her eyes. Poor little Meskenem was like this for a year.

Mr Tilahun believed it is a mixed infection, with suspected trachoma. He explained to Gabriel how important it is to go to another ophthalmologist for a full diagnosis, to ensure that Meskenem is treated correctly.

As they leave, Gabriel promises to Meskenem as soon as possible – and hopefully after a year of suffering, Meskenem will get the treatment she needs.