A boy called Him was one of the youngest patients to have his sight restored at an outreach eye camp in remote Nepal recently.
Him, 11, was born with cataracts
. His poor vision made life a misery, particularly at school.
His mother Masino learnt that The Fred Hollows Foundation's Nepal
partner Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology would be holding an eye clinic near their home in central Nepal, at Kalika Community Hospital, Rasuwa. The news brought hope that her son might see for the first time.
Because of his blinding disability, Him had received a study scholarship, but the Year 4 student still found school life a struggle.
"Other students tease him and his school work is being pinched because he can't see," Masino says.
Masino, a widow, also needed Him's help around the home and tending the land, but his blindness made this an impossible expectation.
Him and Masino walked for an entire day from their village of Dandagaun to reach the makeshift eye clinic in Rasuwa.
Once there, head doctor at the eye clinic, Dr Indira Poudel, operated successfully to remove Him's cataracts.
With his sight restored, Him can now enjoy school and also help his mother on their land. Masino thanked the medical team and expressed relief that her son's dignity and independence have been restored, along with his sight.
Over three days in Rasuwa, the Tilganga team from Kathmandu screened over 260 patients and performed 55 sight-restoring operations.
A month earlier, a team from the local eye centre had door-knocked 1300 homes to assess residents' eyes. Those with eye problems were encouraged to attend the clinic in Rasuwa.
Around 170,000 people in Nepal are blind, with cataract accounting for about 70 per cent of cases.
The Foundation and the Australian Government are supporting Tilganga's efforts to reach poor and remote communities in Nepal.
> Learn more about our work in Nepal.