Jackline: Getting treatment brought to one’s doorstep is a miracle
For Jackline, education is the key to achieving a more secure future than her parents’ hand to mouth existence.
But the 13-year-old, from Kajiado West, Kenya, was preparing for her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, in which she was expected to do well, when the increasing pain in her eyes posed a threat to her ability to study. Teachers recognised that Jackline couldn’t fully open her eyes, was extremely sensitive to light, and suffered continuous teary discharge.
When Jackline’s parents sought help, the local hospital confirmed that she was suffering from trachoma in both eyes, but her parents couldn’t afford to pay for treatment. Severe drought had caused them to lose much of their livestock, and while they worked to re-establish their business, Jackline’s condition worsened.
When the village health worker whom they had initially approached, told the family about a local outreach camp, their luck turned. Jackline and her mother, who had also been diagnosed with trachoma, received free surgery and transport to and from the site through the work of the Trachoma Initiative. Within a week, Jackline had returned to her classroom and was able to prepare for her exams without any pain.
“I can open my eyes fully, no more irritation. I feel much better, and happy that I will not miss my examinations.”
Jackline seated next to her mother during first review after surgery at home.
Jackline in red sweater, back to class after surgery to prepare for her exams.