‘My Life Is So Much Better Now’

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

In the west, cataract surgery is a routine operation. But in rural Africa, people can find it extremely difficult to get diagnosed and treated for the condition – and it can ruin their lives.

The village of Kotyana is home to 72-year-old Ndawayipheli and his wife Nojongile, 68.

It’s a beautiful village over 1,300 kilometres from Cape Town, South Africa. The village is surrounded by rolling green hills.

The villagers live in brightly coloured thatched huts dotted along the lush green landscape.

However until recently neither of the couple could enjoy the breath-taking views because they both were blind.

Both Nojongile and Ndawayipheli lost their sight because of cataracts – a condition that can be corrected with a 20 minute routine surgery, but for them diagnosis and treatment is difficult to access because of the remoteness of their location.

Kotyana is up to four hours’ travel away from Mthatha, where cataract surgery is offered. And the waiting list there is up to a year long.

Recently, however, a cataract surgery service has been created less than an hour from Kotyana – which is where Nojongile was treated last year and where Ndawayipheli will have his operation later this year.

Source: BBC (link opens in a new window)

Health Care