“Before the surgery, I was always in pain and I couldn’t see properly. I was afraid to go outside. I rarely socialized. We had a good rainy season this year, but I wasn’t able to harvest anything.”
Christine Korogo was describing the effects of trachoma, an infectious eye disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. In the final stage, scarring causes the eyelid to turn inward and the lashes to scrape the cornea. If untreated the condition, called trichiasis, leads to blindness – and, all too often, loss of livelihood.
When I met Christine, her face was covered in a sterile blue drape, just one eye showing through. As a surgeon delicately operated, Christine conversed and laughed.