See the Change: Wednesday

Join Frank for a tour of the operating theatre where so many people are having sight-restoring surgery this week...

Thanks to equipment and staff training provided through the See the Way project, cataract surgeries will soon be able to be carried out here without additional support from the team at Nkhoma Eye Programme. This will make a huge difference to the people of Nkhotakota, now and in the future!

First thing in the morning, patients operated yesterday wait in the ward to have their bandages removed. This morning, Mafunasi is waiting.

Surgeons could only remove the cataract in her right eye this time, due to complications from trachoma infection, but she is hopeful.

Clinical officer Priscilla moves quickly from bed to bed, swiftly removing bandages. When she gets to Mafunasi, the reaction is immediate – she starts pointing out things around the room.

Mafunasi is home after cataract surgery. She has her village standing with her.

By the afternoon,  Mafunasi is home, sharing her joy with friends and neighbours.

“You know I could not see and I could not walk alone....It brings joy to my life knowing that I can walk around without any assistance. I will be able to do things myself again”.

Meet Dani

Dani – sitting on the right in this picture - is one of the patients scheduled for surgery on Wednesday. He only has cataract in one eye – his right – but he also has low vision in his left eye. Dani is a farmer, and looking after his crops has become more and more difficult as his sight worsens.

“The past year has been a challenge because of my eye problems”. 

Dani feels nervous as he waits for surgery. “My sons were telling me if I went, they would be removing my eyes. But I gathered the courage to go and see what the doctors could do”.

Dani is sat on the right on this photo. He is having an eye consulation with the doctor.
Henry Juta is performing a cataract surgery.

As a Christian, he draws strength from the story of the blind man at Jericho in the bible.

“With courage, Bartimaeus got his eyesight back. And with courage and treatment, I’ll get my eyesight back as well. I’ll be celebrating and sharing the experience with my sons”.

Dani’s cataract is removed by Henry Juta, the Nkhotakota clinical lead, under supervision from surgeon Wells Mvona. Henry has been trained at Nkhoma to remove cataracts, but must carry out 100 surgeries under supervision before he can operate on his own.

But thanks to your support, outreach camps like this one shouldn’t be needed here for much longer. Henry Juta, eye health lead at Nkhotakota District, will soon be able to carry out surgeries himself. This week, he is operating under supervision, but once fully qualified, he will be able to work independently.

That means patients like Dani won’t have to wait for the Nkhoma team to visit to get treatment. “I’ve gone to hospital repeatedly to make sure my eyes will be ok. I’ve just been waiting”, he says. Finally, his wait is nearly over. Tomorrow he hopes to see his farm clearly again...

Dani is smiling whilst wearing an eye patch, following cataract surgery.

Prayer of the Day

“A blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”…“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” Mark 10:46-52

Jesus, we praise you for always showing kindness to all people, like when you met Bartimaeus on the road to Jerusalem – and we thank you for the courage Bartimaeus showed in seeking you out for healing. Thank you today for Dani, whose Christian faith strengthened and encouraged him as he waited for his cataract surgery, especially as he remembered the story of Bartimaeus. Please would many others, who are living needlessly blind, courageously step forward for treatment too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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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.

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