Smiling child in Zambia.

Back in school and back on the field

May 2017

Ten year-old David lives with his mum, dad and three brothers in Mufulira, which means ‘place of abundance’, in the Copperbelt province of Zambia.

When David was four months old, his mother Maria noticed that his eyes were not normal. She shared her concern with her family but was encouraged to wait as they felt the condition would go away on its own. When David turned two they took him to a traditional healer. The healer made incisions in his eyes and placed a variety of herbs in the wounds. His condition worsened.

David was unable to play with friends and playing his favourite sport, football, had become impossible. When he reached Class 3 his teacher informed Maria that he was struggling at school and his writing had changed into illegible scribbles. His older brother Divine explained that when he called to David to join him, David would walk straight past him before realising that he had missed his brother entirely.

Maria was at her wits end and went against family pressure to take him to the local clinic. There his cataracts were diagnosed and he was referred to the Kitwe Eye Annex, 45km away, the only facility in Zambia equipped to provide the specialised treatment he needed.

Smiling child in Zambia.

David underwent successful cataract surgery under the skilled hands of Orbis-trained ophthalmologist Dr Mboni. Although David had to repeat Class 3 he is back in school and spends every other waking moment playing football. He dreams of one day playing for his favourite team Chelsea.