Malam Ladan Labbo: Treatment where it’s needed
When 75-year-old Malam Ladan Labbo developed trachoma trichiasis in both eyes, the only solution appeared to be to try and control his eyelashes, which were increasingly growing inward.
Malam Ladan’s sister-in-law used local forceps to regularly remove the rogue lashes, but the disease continued to progress for two years. As treatment was only available at Batsari General Hospital, six kilometres away, Malan Ladan believed he had no option but to continue to suffer, as he could not afford the travel costs.
In response to the need for more localised services, the Trust established an additional outreach centre in Malam Ladan’s community, Wagini. The centre is one of five units established in Batsari LGA, where trachoma is endemic, ensuring that medical staff reach those unable to travel to them.
When a relative who had recently received surgery told Malam Ladan that it was possible to be examined so close to home, he presented himself for treatment. However, when asked to travel to Batsari for the surgery, Malam Ladan was forced to decline. Determined that the journey should not be a deterrent, the surgeon who had examined him took him to hospital himself, and he was successfully treated.