Community health workers go above and beyond for their communities

A senior man smiling at the camera
Written by Ashley Anderson, published on November 4, 2021 Sign up for eNews

Bulal is a 97-year-old man from Thankot, Nepal. He, along with several members of his family, run a local butcher shop that they depend on for their livelihood. Several years ago, Bulal was diagnosed with diabetes. Recently, Bulal’s vision has been steadily declining. His family took him to the doctor, who identified that he suffered from cataracts, but were told that his blood sugar wasn’t stable enough and his blood pressure was too high for anything to be done. After visiting the doctor and hearing that nothing could be done, Bulal was crushed and lost hope that he would ever be able to see again.

Bulal smiles after his sight-restoring cataract surgery

A few months later, Meena, an Operation Eyesight-trained community health worker, approached his family during her door-to-door eye screening activities. His family described their situation to her and explained that although they knew what was causing his vision impairment, the surgery was too risky. Meena told the family that she had encountered cases similar to Bulal’s and that all hope was not lost. She was confident that she could help Bulal.

Bulal and Meena

Over the next several months, with Meena’s guidance, Bulal was able to stabilize his blood sugar levels and lower his blood pressure significantly, making it safe for him to receive surgery. With Meena’s support, Bulal underwent cataract surgery at the Nepal Eye Hospital in Tripureshwor. His family is overjoyed that Bulal is back to his old self, and Bulal is thrilled to once again be able to actively participate in his family and community.

Bulal with his family and Meena, the community health worker (far right)

Although Operation Eyesight-trained community health workers are specifically trained in eye health care, they are passionate about helping their communities and go above and beyond to make sure that good vision and healthy eyes are in reach for as many people as possible. Donate today to help us train more community health workers and bring hope to more families.