Paediatric patient Saliou smiles after receiving treatment

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Saliou's story

Saliou’s eye issues began when he was three years old when his parents noticed that his right eye would slide sideways then focus again. He could not see very far and would fall over when playing. His worried mother, Hawaou, stopped him going outside to play, in case he injured himself.

When his family first took him to the doctor, they were told he needed glasses. In fact, a year later it was discovered that Saliou actually had a cataract, and was referred to our program at the Magrabi Eye Institute. The family were told about our Flying Eye Hospital visit to Yaounde, and that Saliou would be operated on board the plane.

Paediatric patient Saliou writes with chalk on the board of his schoolroom, wearing glasses

Eventually, the headaches were happening so frequently that little Saliou was forced to drop out of school.

Saliou was the first in his family to ever have an operation. Hawaou tells us that when Saliou went for his surgery, she was scared.

The difference in Saliou’s life since his operation has been significant. Last year, the problems with his eyesight had been causing him huge problems. He would have severe headaches and had a serious aversion to light. He struggled to see the blackboard and write.

Our intervention, thanks to the help of our supporters, has changed that. Saliou loves writing and writes in chalk all over the walls. His mother doesn’t even seem to mind. She just seems happy to see him smiling and enjoying himself again. It’s not just writing – he is fascinated by our camera, and soon works out how to scroll through the pictures we have taken. A tiny journalist in the making.