Neima and Sitra can see today thanks to the Orbis community

Young sisters Neima and Sitra were diagnosed with trachoma after being examined by Orbis health workers in their village in Ethiopia. But thanks to generous people like you, they received sight-saving antibiotics to help protect their vision.

Sitra and Neima Are Free From Trachoma Infection

“Sitra and Neima have trachoma a bacterial infection that can hurt their eyes and make it hard for them to see.”

This is what Asma was told by health workers at a community eye screening in her remote village in Ethiopia. She had brought her daughters in for examination and learned that her two youngest daughters, Neima (age 3) and Sitra (age 6) both had active signs of trachoma – a highly contagious bacterial infection.

Before the examination, Asma had noticed her daughters struggling to see. Their eyes get red, swell, and water. They are in pain and itching their eyes,” she told Orbis-trained health workers. Sometimes the pain they experienced kept them from going to school or playing with their friends. The children would even have to cover their eyes while outside in the sunlight!

Asma’s fears grew with her daughters’ diagnoses, and she wondered if they might lose their sight completely to trachoma.

Sadly, she was right to be concerned:

Trachoma is a leading cause of blindness globally. Unfortunately, for children in Ethiopia, the risk of infection is alarmingly high: nearly 40% of children under the age of nine are estimated to have an active trachoma infection.

If left untreated, Neima and Sitra’s trachoma infections could have developed into trichiasis – a painful condition causing the eyelids to turn inward and the eyelashes to scrape the surface of the eyes, leading to irreversible blindness.

But the good news is, with proper care, early-stage trachoma infections can be treated, and future infections can be prevented with simple doses of antibiotics that often cost less than $1.

Thanks to our supporters and Orbis-trained staff, Sitra and Neima received an antibiotic eye ointment to clear their infections and help protect their sight.

Asma was beyond grateful to the Orbis community for helping to provide sight-saving care to her daughters: I am very happy to have been able to access treatment today. I will not worry anymore because we have your help.”

The proud mother is excited for Neima and Sitra to have healthy vision so they can attend school to “learn and transform their lives.”

A family from Ethiopia are pictured at their home after taking part in a trachoma community screening project

Asma with her three daughters – Rahimush, Neima, and Sitra – at their home in Kebena district, Ethiopia, following a community screening. She is grateful to the Orbis community for saving Neima and Sitra’s sight.

Asma also shared her wish, “I will be happy when trachoma is eliminated.”

How You Can Help End Trachoma

Together, we can make Asma’s wish of ending trachoma a reality.

Eliminating trachoma in Ethiopia – and worldwide – is one of Orbis’s top priorities in our efforts to end preventable blindness.

Our teams in Ethiopia have delivered 7 million doses of sight-saving antibiotics – an amazing 90% of the 8 million target for 2023.

Next up, we are heading to the South Omo region where we will deliver more doses to families at risk of trachoma, as well as check for evidence of trichiasis and refer for surgery with an Orbis-trained surgical nurse.

Your gift now can help deliver these trachoma-fighting doses of antibiotics … and every gift brings us closer to a day when painful trachoma is no longer a threat to children’s sight!

The reach and scale of Orbis’s efforts to eliminate trachoma in Ethiopia is only possible through the commitment, trust, and generosity of our supporters.

Please consider making a gift today to help deliver sight-saving antibiotics to children like Neima and Sitra and help ensure they can grow up with healthy sight!

Give Now To Help End Trachoma

Just $25 can help deliver up to 75 doses of antibiotics to people in Ethiopia!

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