With his sight restored, Shakulu can now go to school
Today, Shakulu, 3 years old, is happy and goes to school in his village in north western Uganda, where he lives with his mother Zaitun and his father Robert, both peasant farmers. But his story could have been very different without the generosity of people like you.
From afar, it was difficult to notice that Shakulu was visually impaired when he was younger. But a close look revealed it all. He used to angle his head and squint his eyes to see an object. He had also adopted a strong use of the senses of touch and smell to distinguish between people and objects. Despite the limitations, he was a lively and endearing child.
When Shakulu was five months old, his mother Zaitun realised he had problems seeing and noticed there were white spots in his eyes. His parents took him to the local hospital where doctors gave them some ointments and eye drops. They were told Shakulu needed surgery that could only be done in the capital, Kampala. But to make this trip, the family needed money, which they didn't have.
Shakulu's sight progressively got worse. His parents still couldn’t afford to take him to the hospital in Kampala. And without surgery, he would not go to school.
When he turned three, Shakulu received a goat as a gift, a custom in some Ugandan cultures. His mother sold the goat and used the money to pay for his trip to Kampala. Selling her son’s gift hurt her, but it was the only way.
In hospital, Shakulu was examined and diagnosed with cataracts and the doctor explained what would happen if he went untreated.
"If he does not receive surgery, he will remain blind forever and that means his future life, activity and education will be affected."
Fortunately for Shakulu, our partner on the ground, Mengo Eye Department, heard about his condition. CBM surgeons would operate on Shakulu and cover the cost of his cataract surgery. For the first time since Shakulu had been born, his mother started to feel hopeful.
The morning after Shakulu's surgery, the nurse removed the bandages from his eyes. Shakulu reached for his mother's hand and smiled. Zaitun couldn't have been happier.
Five months after Shakulu’s surgery, he can now walk independently and go to school. The doctor recommended that he wore glasses to improve his vision, but his mother has already seen changes in the boy’s day-to-day life.
“He does not fall over anymore. Before cataract surgery, Shakulu had only light perception, but now his vision has improved. I feel so happy that all I wished for my son will now come to pass."
You too can help other children like Shakulu see and go to school to build a better future. Please donate today.