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Will you help us eliminate trachoma in Kenya?

Your kindness could help eliminate trachoma in the 12 counties in Kenya where it is still prevalent.

Rakonin rubs her trachoma-infected eye while crying

Will you help protect a community from trachoma?

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As Mutave Mutemi and the Sightsavers team visited a village in Kajiado county to check for trachoma cases, Naomi and Rakonin watched quietly from the doorway of their home.

They constantly rubbed their eyes: it was easy to see their discomfort and how withdrawn they were. The girls were suffering from trachoma, an agonising eye infection that causes irritation, redness and discharge. When diagnosed early, it can be easily treated with antibiotics, in the same way as conjunctivitis. But if it’s left untreated, it can develop into trichiasis, where the eyelashes turn inward and scrape against the eyes. Eventually, this can lead to irreversible blindness.

Rakonin’s mother, Naijara, explained to Mutave how the girls’ eyes had been itching, and steadily getting worse. Their sore eyes caused them pain through the night and, all too often, they woke up crying.

Naomi was only four, and Rakonin was five – too young to have their lives blighted by pain, or their future threatened with blindness.

Eye specialist Maurice Abony, who leads Sightsavers’ programme in Kenya, was visiting the local village. When it was Naomi and Rakonin’s turn to have their eyes checked, the telltale signs of trachoma were spotted. Their infection was severe, but an antibiotic eye ointment was provided. It would finally give them relief.

We’ve already eliminated trachoma in 35 of the 47 counties in Kenya, but there are still more communities we need to help.

Will you help provide the treatment that children like Naomi and Rakonin need to be free of this potentially blinding disease?

Will you help more children like Naomi and Rakonin?

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The ointment enabled Naomi and Rakonin to put the pain of trachoma behind them: no more crying through the night and waking up with sore, red eyes. During a follow-up visit, the girls’ eyes had greatly improved. They would make a full recovery.

In just a short time, they’d gone from the risk of blindness to the chance of a brighter future. Naomi proudly told us: “My eyes are good,” and explained how excited she was to go to school. Their days of anguish are over and they’re free to enjoy their childhood again.

This is what your support for Sightsavers can do: your life-changing gifts are helping local teams to make incredible progress. There were once areas in Kenya where as many as half the people screened had trachoma. Now, even in hard-hit areas, it’s closer to 10 per cent.

That’s an amazing leap forward, but with 5.9 million people still at risk of sight loss, we need to act now to reach the last communities still affected. Mutave explained:

“If we’re going to eliminate trachoma from Kenya, we must make sure that every child and their family gets the support they need.”

Naomi and Rakonin’s community received vital antibiotics to stop the spread of trachoma and protect them from its agonising and potentially blinding effects. Will you help us reach the last communities and free more children from the pain of trachoma?

Help more children like Naomi and Rakonin

I would like to make a
one-off
donation to Sightsavers:

could pay for vital screenings for 31 children with devastating eye conditions.

could deliver antibiotics to treat 300 children with trachoma.

could pay for eyelid surgery for one person who has developed advanced trachoma.

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