Ethiopians in Mekelle Find Hope at Eye Center

Light for the World is dedicated to improving eye health for people in developing countries. The NGO has worked to eradicate trachoma, a preventable disease of the eye that is endemic in parts of Ethiopia. With project partners, the NGO also restores vision to people suffering from cataracts and glaucoma.

At the Quiha Eye Hospital Vision Center in Mekelle, Ethiopia you can see anticipation on the faces of patients young and old waiting their turn to see the eye doctor. Their ailments range from eye infections that could lead to disease, to those already displaying serious eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma.

In the center’s eye clinic, an optometrist examines their eyes,and explains what options they have for treatment.  Nuaine Mohamed Hagos is a doctor at the eye clinic.

“From an optometrist, what they are expecting us to do in this hospital is first we do the refraction part. First, before we refract we just do the slit-lamp examination, all the steps done for refraction. But first we have to exclude the diseased parts, and we see with the slit-lamp if there are any diseases. We just treat the disease first before refraction. And then we do the refraction,” explained Hagos.

The slit-lamp device is a low-power microscope combined with a high-intensity light source that produces a thin beam of light. Dr. Nuaine Hagos sits one side of the device, the patient on the other. She asks the patient to rest his or her chin in a small cradle of the device and sit forward so her forehead presses against it.

Dr. Hagos examines the front of the eye, including the eyelids, cornea, and iris. She gives the patient eye drops to dilate their pupils. Then she re-examines the patient’s eyes with the slit lamp, this time with a small lens held close so she can see the back of the eye.

“Another thing pre-operatively, for cataract surgery is we do biometry, the A-scan biometry. We measure keratometry and the biometry, and then we send for appointment for cataract surgery,” the doctor described

Light For The World says cataracts are the leading cause of loss of sight for some 20 million people. A cataract causes cloudy or fuzzy vision, and may make its victim very sensitive to light, causing a glare in vision.

Curated from Ethiopians in Mekelle Find Hope at Eye Center