Meeting My “Daughter” in Niger
September 12, 2012 | Posted by Maggie Jacoby
An inside look into HKI’s trachoma control activities in Niger and Mali.
Post by Emily Toubali, HKI’s Program Manager of Neglected Tropical Disease Control. Photos by Emily Toubali and Aryc Mosher.
Amina Nouhou lived for over 20 years with the searing pain of trichiasis, the final stage of the blinding disease of trachoma. Each time she blinked, the eyelashes of her left eye scraped her cornea. I cannot even begin to imagine the extreme discomfort she silently endured each day. She woke up, cleaned her house, and cooked meals for her family, in constant suffering from this excruciating condition.
I met Amina one hot, dusty morning in Niger at a surgical camp HKI and the Ministry of Health had set up to perform eyelid surgery to reverse the ravages of trichiasis. Amina arrived very early in the morning, accompanied by her son. I introduced myself to her and told her my husband is Nigerien, and his first name was her last name. She immediately responded that I must be her mother since, in the Hausa culture, a father’s first name is passed along to his children as their last name. We were officially bonded.
Read the rest of Emily’s post here on HKI’s blog Seed to Sight