Yusuf Abdul-ruma: Spreading the word
Eye surgery isn’t usually thought of as a word of mouth business. But for trachoma trichiasis surgeons working in rural Nigeria, referrals from satisfied patients are crucial.
With low levels of awareness of trachoma, and a strong fear factor surrounding surgery, they provide powerful testimony to the benefits of treatment.
“I like to appreciate patients who refer others to benefit from the intervention,” says Mallam Yusuf Abdul-ruma, an ophthalmic nurse who was trained as a trachoma trichiasis surgeon by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in March 2015. “They are our ambassadors and champions in the community – in three outreaches we have operated on over 100 eyes.”
Fifty-one year-old Yusuf provides services in Batsari LGA in Katsina state.
“I am motivated by the number of successfully operated patients,” he says. “ I enjoy seeing my patients happy after a successful surgery, and being able to do the things they like without the usual eye pains.”