Ruth: Giving people a new lease of life
“People cannot do anything when they have this complication,” explains Ruth. “They just sit at home in most cases – they cannot cook, they are unable to cultivate, they are not able to go to market. Relatives fear to come near them in case they get the infection.”
While Ruth paints a bleak picture of life with trachoma trichiasis, she sees the other side of the story on a daily basis. As a TT surgeon in Luuka, Uganda, she operates on people suffering from trachoma trichiasis, restoring sight, relieving pain and giving people back their independence.
“As an ophthalmic clinical officer, I was seeing so many older patients becoming blind from trachoma, so I gained interest in learning how to help them and joined the training to become a TT surgeon,” she says. “I’ve been operating for a year now. I feel good, I have operated on many people. Patients really appreciate it. Some people bring chickens or food to show their appreciation.”
A patient after surgery
Ruth checks a patients eye