Greenock nurse will give gift of sight in Ethiopia

Greenock Telegraph

31 Dec 2013

A MERCY medical team from Inverclyde is preparing to mount another mission to Africa to bring the gift of sight to blind people.

CONSULTATION: Ergate Ayana examining a patient during a previous visit to Ethiopia.

A MERCY medical team from Inverclyde is preparing to mount another mission to Africa to bring the gift of sight to blind people.

Retired nurse Ergate Ayana, 71, of Greenock, organises ‘Fighting Blindness in Ethiopia’, a charity which has made 10 visits to the country since 2006.

Next month’s trip will include four Inverclyde Royal nurses — Lynn Dempsey, Theresa Davidson, Diane Harrison and Linsay McGarva.

The charity’s volunteer doctors and nurses have given sight back to 2,016 people in various parts of Ethiopia — where Ergate was born.

He said today: “Each trip costs around £22,000 to cover transport and equipment, although the doctors and nurses give their services free of charge.

“We get great help from the people of Inverclyde because of the publicity in the Telegraph.”

The team is going to the north-west of the country to Finote Selam, which has a population of 2,382,497 including the surrounding area.

Ergate said: “This zone is one of those affected with eye diseases, mainly of cataract and trachoma and complications of untreated trachoma problems.

“There are other organisations who are going to these areas but still the number of patients affected is amazingly high.

“FBIE is trying to treat at least 250 to 300 patients on this trip, but, unfortunately, this is still a drop in the ocean compared with the demand for help.”

Ergate stressed: “Once again we are able to do this trip because of the continuous generosity of the people of Scotland.

“I would like to pass on my heartfelt thanks on behalf of the rural people of Ethiopia.”

The 10 day trip starts on 17 January and medics will work from 7am to 6pm to replace lenses in the eyes of people who are completely blind.

Appointments are made in advance, and all treatment is given free of charge.

Ergate added: “The operations last only 20 minutes under local anaesthetic, but they make a lifetime of a difference.”

Anyone who would like to donate should email ergatea@aol.com or phone 783101 or visit the website at www.fbie.ewebsite.com

Donations can also be made at the Royal Bank of Scotland, where the FBIE account number is 00195578 and the sort code is 832839.

 


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