Mallam: Healing his community
Mallam is a vital member of his community - the ophthalmic nurse has been trained by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust fund to carry out surgery for trachoma trichiasis, and now provides weekly outreach surgery in Katsina state, Nigeria, where the disease is endemic. As a local, he knows the impact surgery can have.
“I am motivated when I think that I am playing an important role in reducing the burden of trachoma trichiasis in my community and alleviating the suffering patients go through,” he says.
One patient whose pain Mallam has definitely helped alleviate is Hajara Usman. After living with the pain of trachoma for a year, she was told by a neighbour who had received the treatment that free surgery was being made available locally. As Mallam notes, this word of mouth is central to the success of the programme.
“The number of successfully treated patients who refer others to benefit from the intervention is really motivating for me,” he says.
For Hajara, treatment restored her pleasure in her day-to-day life.
“I used to feel like there were particles of dust in my eye all the time. This made me very uncomfortable and even prevented me from taking care of my family,” she recalls. “Now I am able to do all the activities I want to do comfortably. May God continue to bless those who contributed in assisting me to have the surgery.”