Chapter 7 Lomo Kikuyu: Trachoma

The cataract is neither the beginning nor the end of this story. There are many more illnesses, and a shocking number of people afflicted by them.

Approximately 84 million people suffer from trachoma infections all around the world, about 1.5 million are completely blind as a result. In this case, however, irreversibly so – meaning that not even an operation can help. This illness is brought about by a virus infection in the eye transmitted from person to person on hands, clothes and by insects.

Much of the disastrous and irreparable damage that this illness causes could be prevented with treatment and facial hygiene awareness. If a child were to be infected with the trachoma just once their own bodily immune system would be quite able to ward it off all by itself. But it doesn’t happen like that. A mother, for instance, usually uses the same towel to wipe the faces of all her children, and if one child has an infected eye then the germs are transmitted each time she wipes one of the other children’s faces, again and again. This reoccurring infection by the virus within the family or village community is harder for the body to combat so the illness worsens, and if left untreated it will eventually lead to incurable blindness.

What, apart from the urgent necessity of preventing reoccurring infections, could still help?

An antibiotic cream used directly after the first infection can kill the virus before it spreads. This treatment costs a total of 5 euros. If the infection is already at an advanced stage but is not yet at its most acute (i.e. complete blindness) simple surgery on the eyelid can help the patient. A mere 15 euros can save such a person’s eyesight.

Lomo Kikuyu It’s good to see (again). Every Lomographer along with their friends and acquaintances worldwide is being appealed to donate 30 Euros/30 American dollars to save a person’s eyesight. Get the chance to do this by getting your own Lomo Kikuyu Book now.

written by ungrumpy on 2011-11-28 in #library #kikuyu #lomography #excerpt #kenya #library

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