Nyende: A life transformed

A man has his eyes examined by an ophthalmologist.
Name: Nyende
Location: Uganda
Occupation: Subsistence farmer

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“Now I no longer experience the excruciating pain I had and my vision has improved"

Nyende, a subsistence farmer with a wife and 10 children, first experienced discomfort in his eyes more than 30 years ago.

As Nyende’s sight deteriorated, he started getting sharp pains in his eyes. He lost his job as a machine operator in a blanket factory in Kampala and had to move back home and make bricks to supplement his income from the farm. Over time, Nyende became unable to complete even routine activities, like digging or rearing animals due to his deteriorating sight and discomfort. He struggled to pay for his family’s upkeep, and his children were forced to drop out of school as he could no longer afford the fees.

The difficulties Nyende faced weren’t just practical or financial – as he lost his sight, he began to experience discrimination from people in the village and his children. When he heard a radio advert about an eye camp at a health centre in Lubira in 2015, Nyende and his family were first apprehensive – but he sought advice from a Village Health Committee member who reassured him that he could receive free, expert eye health care and decided to attend.

An Ophthalmic Clinical Officer arranged for a member of Uganda’s Volunteer Health Team to take Nyende to the health centre, where he was diagnosed with trachoma trichiasis and referred for surgery the same day.

Whilst the scarring on his eyes can’t be reversed, he is much happier saying “Now I no longer experience the excruciating pain I had and my vision has improved. I am so happy and I will start bricklaying again so that I can earn a better living.”

Nyende’s family are delighted that he’s no longer in pain and his eyesight is no longer worsening. Nyende has been so impressed with his treatment that he intends to become an ambassador in his community, convincing others to seek early intervention for their eye problems.

Our Partners - uganda

The initiative is being delivered by the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, in association with the partners below.