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Hibret's loving embrace could blind her children

If you’re a parent, you’ll likely find moments like cuddling your children, or their small hands gripping yours to be precious. But what if these loving actions were the reason you and your children were at risk of going irreversibly blind?

This was the reality for Hibret Dessu, a mother of three from Ethiopia. Hibret’s husband is a farmer, so she spends much of her time at home taking care of their children, cooking and tending to livestock. Little did she know that this is where her sight was most at risk. Young ones with sticky hands, an open fire, and animals kept close to the homestead can be aggravating factors in spreading bacteria. And can create an ideal breeding ground for a horrific infection called trachoma.

In rural regions like Hibret’s village, clean water is hard to come by. That, and a lack of knowledge around hygiene, means people are more at risk of contracting this vicious disease.

Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness in the world and repeat infections can cause your eyelashes to grow inwards – painfully scraping and scarring the surface of your eye. It can be treated, but only if it is caught in time.

Women are four times more likely to need surgery for advanced trachoma than men. And what’s worse is that they can easily pass it to their children.

Recently, Hibret was devastated to discover that two of her three children had also contracted the disease – she was already in pain from having repeat infections and was terrified that her children would suffer as she had.

Luckily for Hibret, Sightsavers-trained health workers reached her village and she received the sight-saving surgery she urgently needed. Her two children were treated with antibiotics too – meaning Hibret can now cuddle her children without the fear of harming their sight or putting her own at risk.

With your help, we can reach more vulnerable women like Hibret and provide them with the trachoma surgery needed to stop their pain and suffering – and, at the same time, distribute the sight-saving antibiotics to treat and protect their families against infection.

Thanks to our supporters, Hibret and her children are safe from the threat of trachoma.

Will you donate today to help stop more families from suffering?

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