March 24, 2017


Halimata the day after trichiasis surgery, free of pain for the first time in years. Photo credit: Awa Dieng

“My name is Halimata,” she said. I put my hand into hers and told her she was a beautiful woman. She beamed with joy and squeezed my hand.

Halimata is 75 years old and has been blind for many years due to trachoma. The day before we met, she had surgery on both of her eyelids to correct her trichiasis, the painful condition caused by trachoma in which the eyelashes turn inward and scrape the eyeball. Today, her son and daughter have brought her to the health center in the town of Samandini, Burkina Faso, for her follow-up check.

Before the surgery, Halimata always kept her eyes closed to ease the pain. Now she was all smiles as the surgeon led her to the consultation room, her positive spirit lifting us all.

Perched on an exam chair, she waited patiently as the surgeon removed the dressings from her eyes.

Read the full article on the MMDP Project website.