Shashetu needs her sight for her children and her livelihood. Trachoma, the agonising eye disease, was threatening to take this away from her.
Shashetu, a 25-year-old mother of two, makes a living weaving baskets and selling them at local markets. As the sole provider for her young family, she knows if she can’t see, she can’t work, and can’t feed her children.
Blinding trachoma had caused the inner surface of Shashetu’s eyelids to scar, turning her eyelashes inwards to painfully scratch the front of her eye. If left untreated, Shashetu’s eye would be so damaged, she’d be irreversibly blind. Many trachoma sufferers are mothers and children who unknowingly pass infection to each other with every hug or touch.
Trachoma is at crisis levels in Ethiopia. In Shashetu’s area alone over 155,000 people urgently need a sight-saving operation.
With the help of our supporters, Shashetu had the operation she so desperately needed. We also gave her children antibiotics to break the vicious cycle of reinfection between mother and child. Three months later, Shashetu was transformed. The piercing pain that plagued her had gone, and her face now had a beautiful smile.
The Fred Hollows Foundation is working hard to train doctors, health workers, nurses and mobile teams to travel around Ethiopia and deliver vital surgery to people like Shashetu