Stories | July 7, 2021
Ibran’s parents first noticed his vision problems when he was a baby, but the prohibitive costs of health care prevented them from being able to help him.
“There has been a problem with his eyes from the beginning. He used to squint and turn his head all the time. Lately, he was having lots of difficulties. He is unable to find stuff once he drops it. The problem gets worse at night. He would trip and fall quite often,” his mother Khusbu explains.
Ibran, aged four, and his family lived in Nepal near the India border. His father Gulzar worked as a daily wage labourer but struggled to find employment during Nepal’s monsoon season. Ibran was one of around 20 million people around the world with cataracts, but paying for treatment was not a possibility for his family.
“Six months ago, we took Ibran to a doctor, [who] said that Ibran needs a surgery. But, we didn’t have enough money,” said Gulzar.
CBM supported the work of an eye hospital to provide eye care and corrective surgery in eastern Nepal. CBM also supported the Community Outreach and Rehabilitation program which found Ibran – and gave him the gift of sight-saving surgery.
Outreach coordinator Shrawan visited the family’s home and examined Ibran’s eyes, informing his parents of the serious risks of untreated cataracts, which can include permanent vision impairment.
“Children learn a lot by looking at things and vision is very crucial for their mental development as well. So we need to treat his eyes immediately,” he said.
Thanks to CBM’s supporters, Ibran had access to a free surgical intervention that would restore his sight and allow him to live life like a regular four-year-old boy.
The CBM supported hospital has a busy paediatric ophthalmology department, where up to 150 children could be examined each day.
Ophthalmic assistant Sunil performed a comprehensive eye assessment on Ibran, and determined that the boy had bilateral cataracts.
“His vision is very low. With this vision, it becomes very difficult for a child to do things like playing or studying,” he said.
After further tests and assessments, Ibran had a successful surgery on his right eye.
“The [new] lens is in place and the vision has also been improved. It will further improve,” Ophthalmologist Dr Pawan informed the family, scheduling a follow-up appointment and a time to perform surgery on Ibran’s left eye.
The improvement was immediately evident as Dr Pawan threw a toy to Ibran and, to his parents’ delight, the boy caught it.
Gulzar was overjoyed as he discussed what the life-changing moment meant for his family – and for his son’s future prospects.
“I took him to a school once to admit him. But, they didn’t admit him. Now I will go there again and admit him. He will be able to see and learn now,” he said with pride.
“I am an uneducated person, that’s why I am not able to get good work. I will not compromise in my children’s education. I want my children to do well in their life.”
This Miracles Day, August 19, can you give the Miracle of sight to change the life of a child like Ibran? Just $33 will provide sight-saving surgery to someone living in poverty. Give a Miracle today.
Nigeria’s womens health project
The impact of addressing obstetric fistula on women and maternal health systems. Nigeria has 40% of global obstetric fistulas, a...
Submission: Inquiry into supporting democracy in our region
Summary of recommendations CBM Australia and the Australian Disability and Development Consortium recommend that the...
Still smiling, despite chronic pain
Still smiling, despite chronic pain Six years ago, Kanchi, now 65, fell and injured her back. The injury was too complex for the local hospital...