You can help free people like Dinknesh from the pain of trachoma

Copy of 2021 Jan Trachoma campaign - LP-High-Quality

Thousands of adults and children cannot see without pain because of trachoma. You can help them get treatment and avoid permanent blindness.


You can help free people like Dinknesh from the pain of trachoma

Thousands of adults and children cannot see without pain because of trachoma. You can help them get treatment and avoid permanent blindness.

Meet Dinknesh.

At first glance, the village Dinknesh lives in looks picturesque. Nestled in the hills of Ethiopia, East Africa, it sits in a rural valley where spikey cacti line the fields. But further down the hills, a cloud of flies surrounds it. They are everywhere.

The flies, although small, carry bacteria that causes a condition called trachoma. Trachoma is an extremely painful disease and the main cause of blindness by infection globally.

Over half the people who live in this region have trachoma, and most of them are women. But trachoma and the blindness it causes are totally avoidable with the right long-term support.

38-year-old Dinkesh lives with her husband and their three children in a small traditional home. These houses have one room and no kitchen - instead, people cook outdoors.

It's a poor area and those who live here, like Dinknesh and her family, don't have proper toilet facilities or clean running water.

"It is very painful"

Trachoma had slowly caused Dinknesh's eyelids to turn inwards and scrape against the eye. Every blink was agonising and was slowly leading Dinknesh toward a life of permanent blindness and dependency on others.

Dinknesh had, like so many in the village, resorted to pulling out her eyelashes with a werento- a small pair of tweezers. She found it too painful to pull out her own eyelashes so she asks her sister for help.

The pain of blinking or pulling eyelashes made daily life unbearable. Cooking also became a major challenge; the smoke irritated Dinknesh's eyes, causing them to continually weep.

Diknesh kneeling on the floor beside her mud hut cooking on a small stove.

Living in extreme poverty, there was no way that Dinknesh could afford treatment for her painful blindness.

Trachoma is highly infectious and is often picked up by children and then passed onto their mothers, who are generally their main care givers.

The turning-in of eyelashes can be surgically corrected before it causes permanent damage to the eye, but many people cannot afford healthcare or even the travel costs of getting to hospital. The only option is to resort to solutions like plucking their eyelashes, or just living with pain and, eventually, becoming blind.

"The eyelashes are always scratching my eye and it makes it difficult to do any work. It is very painful...

But when you pull out your eyelashes, they multiply. At first there is one hair, then they double."

Ethiopia, East Africa

Faya, Ethiopia - 20.05.17  - Dinknesh Wondifraw, days after her trichiasis surgery in her left eye in Faya, Amhara Region, Ethiopia, on May 20, 2017. "I am feeling better already," says Dinknesh. " I am so thankful for what has been done for me."


There is hope if we work together. You can save the sight of hundreds of people and take steps towards eliminating trachoma.

If you choose to start a regular gift, more eyesight clinics can be run, more community health workers will be trained in how to identify the disease and they can perform more surgeries to protect people's sight. It is the only way to eliminate the condition.

Eliminating trachoma will take on-going effort. It is highly infectious, and highly prevalent. Like many diseases, it traps people in a cycle of poverty out of which it is almost impossible to escape without help.

But a regular gift from you means that we can continue sharing the love of God in some of the most remote places in the world.

It means that you can save the sight of hundreds of people, preventing a life of blindness. You'll be keeping children in school or ensuring they can help their parents to grow food. You'll be making sure that family members can stay employed, and able to provide for children in their care.


Thank you


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Christian Blind Mission UK is registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales as charity number 1058162, and with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator as charity number SC041101.

© CBM UK Ltd. All rights reserved.

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