15 February 2017.
We just had 8 children come from the blind school for follow-up, so we paid for their trip and food. We operated on them 2 years ago (for congenital cataract) and 2 already left the blind-school! One more could also leave, and all of them improved a lot in their functioning. It was very heart-warming to see them again. Even the way they walked into the exam room, they did not seem to be blind any more, as they could come in and sit down in a chair unassisted. I should write it up as an article but I have no time for it.
We tried to asses their visual function with some questions, as the visual acuity usually does not improve at all, or only minimally unless the cataract is operated on before 3 months of age. It is because of the development of a lazy eye. (The medical name for it is amblyopia, meaning the brain does not learn how to see as it did not get any visual input for a while).
The children gave the following answers :
« Now I can see colors »
« Now I can walk around without help »
« Now I can count money « (i.e, See the amount from the color of the bills.)
« When I go home, I can sweep the house »
« When I go home, I can tell the difference between grass and maize » (I.e, I can weed.)
There was one more blind girl with them with bilateral cataracts, who initially did not agree to the surgery, but now that she witnessed the others seeing better also wanted to undergo the operation. We performed it (only on one eye for now) and we are hoping she will also improve and agree to the surgery of the second eye.