I'm not slow!

August 2017

Since birth, Sarita had been progressing slower than children her age. Her parents were extremely worried that she was “slow”. Turns out that Sarita was not slow, it was her poor vision which hindered her development!

Sarita is a 8 year old girl from Baliya in Nepal. The first thing you notice about her is her bright smile – it instantly catches your attention!

But things weren’t that positive till two years ago. Since birth, Sarita had been progressing slower than children her age. Her parents were extremely worried that she was “slow”. They consulted a physiotherapist who helped her cope with development delay. 

Among other things, they noticed that she had trouble seeing, which the therapy did not address.

Sarita’s parents then brought her to Fateh Bal Eye Hospital, an Orbis partner hospital. She was diagnosed with bilateral cataract – meaning that the lenses in both eyes were cloudy. She underwent surgery, patching therapy, and was given spectacles to wear.

The treatment brought back more than just vision – she started learning at a much faster pace and her motor skills drastically improved. 

Sarita Nepal

Sarita with her big bright smile.

We never thought that her poor vision caused her slow development.

Jamuna

Sarita's mother

Learning and vision are closely related. In fact, experts suggest that up to 80% of a child’s learning occurs through vision! Students with vision problems are often disadvantaged in school as they can’t see the blackboard and learn meaningfully.

Many eye conditions affecting children can be easily treated with surgery or a pair of correctly prescribed spectacles. However, many people living in rural areas do not have access to these services. 

Orbis works to build the capacity of partner hospitals and establish referral networks so that rural communities have access to screening, diagnosis and treatment. We also train teachers and community workers to identify vision problems, so that these students can get the treatment they need before it's too late.

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