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Hope for the Community:  A Story of Little Rimsa

Hope for the Community:  A Story of Little Rimsa

Corneal blindness is preventable in approximately 80% of cases worldwide. In many instances, all it takes is a trained person and a few dollars’ worth of antibiotics to save a person’s eyesight.

One such success story is that of Rimsa, a 5-year-old girl from Ramabhari village in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Rimsa’s father is a daily wage laborer who works in the agricultural fields of Biswan. During the off season, he moves to nearby cities to find employment. He is the sole earner for his family of six. Rimsa is the only daughter alongside three older brothers. Their mother manages the busy household and daily chores.

During a September afternoon in 2021 while playing with her siblings, Rimsa hurt her left eye. It immediately turned red and teary and she was in immense pain. Worried, Rimsa’s mother phoned her husband, who was working in a nearby field. While Rimsa’s mother washed her eye with running water, the toddler cried endlessly in pain.

The father remembered the local community health worker, Alkama, who was trained to address issues related to the eyes. Alkama is an Accredited Social Health Activist, one of thousands of local community health workers commonly known as ASHAs.

Alkama learned to identify and treat corneal injuries and infections in children thanks to SightLife’s Corneal Blindness Prevention program. This program was created in collaboration with USAID, equipping ASHAs with the tools and skills to detect and treat corneal injuries in children, before they can lead to more serious conditions or blindness.

Without wasting time, the father took Rimsa to the health care worker. Alkama instantly took out the eye kit she had received under SightLife’s program and examined Rimsa’s eyes. She discovered that the girl had a corneal abrasion, and prescribed a topical antibiotic.

By the fourth day, Rimsa’s eye was completely healed. Becoming pain free, she was once again back to her playful and happy self. Her parents were more than thankful to Alkama for treating their daughter so professionally at the community level, free of cost.

“The entire experience was a great one for us and helped us save a lot of financial struggle. I’m very thankful to the ASHA and SightLife for facilitating free treatment close to home,” said Rimsa’s father.

SightLife continues to expand our proven Corneal Blindness Prevention Program in India, Nepal and Ethiopia to ensure more people like Rimsa receive they time-sensitive care they need to prevent blindness – allowing them to continue to see the faces of their loved ones and thrive in their community.