Hawa Hassan - a housewife & a mother fighting Trachoma
Sunday April 11, 2014 - Telhurdere Warede, Ethiopia: Hawa Hassan, a housewife and a mother of 6 children welcomed us at her modest home, that had a strong aroma of dark Ethiopian coffee that she had prepared for us, she served it with traditional bread.
She sat next to us telling us her story of how the Noor Dubai’s Trachoma Elimination program saved her life and lives of her children.
The Trachoma Elimination program which endures SAFE strategy (recommended by World Health Organization- WHO) made Hassan, and millions of villagers living in the Amhara National Regional State better aware of tools to protect their sight from Trachoma and other infectious diseases.
Trachoma is a bacterial infection of the eye the leads to scarring and inward turning of the eyelid, mainly found in poor, isolated communities due to the lack tools for basic hygiene, clean water and adequate sanitation.
A local health worker would regularly visit their house - as frequent as twice a month - to educate Hassan and her family on intervention techniques that help eliminate and prevent the spread of Trachoma. Hassan now has now three latrines at her house after the first one was built 8 years ago (her house was built 12 years ago and at that time she did not have any latrine facility).
However, improving the hygiene and sanitization condition, in addition to ensuring they take their yearly antibiotic tablet has ensured that none of her children caught any infectious eye disease.
Noor Dubai in association with Carter Foundation provides these tablets to the population in Ethiopia to prevent from developing this disease. The three year collaboration aims to eliminate the disease in Ethiopia.
Hassan told Noor Dubai she and her family is thankful to the charity for preventing the spread of the disease. She said the building the latrine took 400 hours. She added that it was difficult to estimate the cost of building the latrine as money isn’t a easily available and that often villagers in the area follow a barter exchange method.
She said her husband works as a farmer who earns between 5000 to 3000 birr per year from selling cereals (between 260$ to 155 $ per year)
Hassan is thankful for the Noor Dubai’s Trachoma Elimination program. “Because of health education provision, our lives is improved and we have less infections. All of my children now go to school now and have chance of a good future,” said Hassan