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Wednesday,October 21,2020 12:48 PM

Boy blinded my landmine, seeks help

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th December 2005 03:00 AM

AT 13, in 2003, Denis Omony was a P6 pupil in Kitgum district. Today, he is out of school and gradually losing his sight.

AT 13, in 2003, Denis Omony was a P6 pupil in Kitgum district. Today, he is out of school and gradually losing his sight.

By Timothy Makokha
AT 13, in 2003, Denis Omony was a P6 pupil in Kitgum district. Today, he is out of school and gradually losing his sight.
In July 2003, Omony narrowly survived death when a landmine exploded in near him, hardly a kilometre away from Kitgum Matidi IDP Camp.
At St Joseph’s Hospital in Kitgum, Omony was treated for burns, but there was a bigger problem: “Omony also suffered blurred vision, following the landmine blast,” the doctor that first attended to him wrote.
His transfer to Kitgum District Hospital did not make his situation any better. Regarding his failing eyesight, the doctor said Omony suffered post-traumatic bomb blast cataract. Omony was declared blind and the doctor recommended Madera School of the Blind in Soroti. When he was brought to Mulago Referral Hospital, he was found to have suffered multiple injuries to the corneas in both his eyes.
“On examination, we found foreign metallic bodies in both corneas as a result of the landmine blast,” says Dr CH Magimbi, the consultant occular surgeon of Eye Department, Mulago Hospital. “Omony urgently requires a bilateral cornea transplant, which can be done in Nairobi.”
Dr Ada Kakembo, an ophthalmologist, says in cases where foreign metallic particles enter the eye, they could damage the cornea (the white part of the eye that lets in light). “It is bound to be severe, especially if the patient is not attended to immediately by an eye specialist,” Kakembo says.
“Most people unnecessarily end up blind because they delay in seeking treatment.”
Like Dr Magimbi, Kakembo says remedy may involve an eye transplant. Usually, an eye tissue comes from a dead person. “Unfortunately, we do not have donor tissues in Uganda because our culture does not allow the taking of organs from the dead,” she says. “If Omony is to be helped, it will necessarily mean getting an eye from a person who has just died from Nairobi or India.”
She says the successful treatment of an eye depends on expert medical intervention, availability of the services and timely response on the part of the patients. Kakembo says the management of eyes remains a grave issue of concern in Uganda: “Many people are ignorant about how delicate an eye is. Sometimes even the health workers who handle the patients first do not realise how grave the problem usually is.”
For Omony to get this operation, he needs sh9m. For any contribution towards his operation, call 077577681, or send to 012 102 144 0501 Opio Robert/Omony Denis Stanbic Bank, Entebbe Main Branch.
Ends

Boy blinded my landmine, seeks help

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