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In Pictures: Along the river
In a remote town in South Sudan, a team of doctors perform surgeries without electricity or running water.
Last updated: 20 Mar 2014 20:39
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Nasir, South Sudan - The town of Nasir sits on the banks of the Sobat River in Upper Nile, South Sudan. Only accessible by car for a few months of the year, due to heavy rains and the region’s black cotton soil, the river serves as a lifeline for the town’s residents.

The closest hospital where patients can recieve treatment for cataracts and trachoma is in Malakal, an expensive three-day boat ride away. Nasir and its neighbouring communities have limited access to eye care and surgery. That was until a team of medical professionals and their equipment came to them by boat.

For 10 days, under the direction of the ministry of health and with the support of Sightsavers and two local trachoma surgeons, a team of South Sudanese performed trachoma and cataract operations without running water or electricity.

Water was brought from a nearby pump, trachoma surgeries were performed under natural light, the operating microscope used for cataract operations was powered by a small generator, and the autoclave, used to sterilise equipment, was heated over charcoal.

The main causes of blindness in South Sudan are cataracts, trachoma and onchocerciasis (river blindness). Trachoma, which stems from poor sanitation and hygiene, was the most prevalent cause in Nasir. While cataracts can develop naturally over time as a result of the build-up of protein in the eye, blindness from trachoma is caused by an infection. Repeated and untreated infections cause the eyelashes to curve inward, rubbing and damaging the eyes, sometimes to the point of irreversible blindness.

Once they heard about the operations taking place in Nasir, patients from neighbouring communities walked for a day or longer through heavy mud to reach the team in the hope of regaining their sight. One blind woman and her young daughter endured a five-day walk from Ethiopia. Many of those who came had previously tried to treat their conditions at local clinics without success.

Every morning soon after sunrise a line of patients and their guides gathered in the hall waiting to see a doctor, hopeful that their vision could be restored. In some cases, their eyes were too damaged to be repaired. But many others were soon able to see after years of blindness.

Those whose treatment was successful gained much more than just their sight – rediscovering lost independence as they were able to return to work, support their families and allow children who had previously been their caregivers to go back to school.

In total, 216 trachoma surgeries were performed free of charge.

For more on the battle to prevent, control and eradicate trachoma, follow Lifelines: The Quest for Global Health. Lifelines will air on Al Jazeera in 2014.


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Nyaleni Lual Tut is examined in the consultation room during the cataract and trachoma outreach program in Nasir, Upper Nile, South Sudan, on August 30, 2013


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

A patient's eyes are examined in the consultation room



/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
A woman takes a visual acuity test before being seen by a doctor 


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Trachoma surgeon Nyadeng Gatluak prepares for surgery 


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Nyakuor Guek Palek is examined in the consultation room by Surgeon Wal Gach


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Olau Kacha Deng, 13, before his trachoma surgery. Olau was forced to drop out of school after losing his sight


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
The surgical equipment used to perform trachoma operations


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Trachoma surgeon Calso Thubo Paul prepares patient Olau Kacha Deng, 13, for surgery.


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Using only the light from a window trachoma surgeon Calso Thubo Paul operates on both eyes of 13-year-old patient Olau Kacha Deng 


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

A patient's eyelid during trachoma surgery



/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Nyaboth Pal, left, and Nyakal Bol, use buckets of water to wash equipment next to the autoclave and bag of charcoal that were used to sterilise equipment during the cataract and trachoma outreach programme 


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
The day after surgery, women cover their heads to protect their eyes from flies 


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
A woman cleans the hallways at the end of the day during the cataract and trachoma outreach programme 


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
A woman walks independently the day after her eye surgery


/Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Michael Duel is led by his daughter Chol Juoch, while Michael’s sister Rebecca Nanyik, is led by his other daughter Nyantut along the Sobat River after their trachoma surgery in Nasir



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images:
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captions:
Nyaleni Lual Tut is examined in the consultation room during the cataract and trachoma outreach program in Nasir, Upper Nile, South Sudan, on August 30, 2013;*;

A patient(***)s eyes are examined in the consultation room

;*;A woman takes a visual acuity test before being seen by a doctor ;*;Trachoma surgeon Nyadeng Gatluak prepares for surgery ;*;Nyakuor Guek Palek is examined in the consultation room by Surgeon Wal Gach;*;Olau Kacha Deng, 13, before his trachoma surgery. Olau was forced to drop out of school after losing his sight;*;The surgical equipment used to perform trachoma operations;*;Trachoma surgeon Calso Thubo Paul prepares patient Olau Kacha Deng, 13, for surgery. ;*;Using only the light from a window trachoma surgeon Calso Thubo Paul operates on both eyes of 13-year-old patient Olau Kacha Deng ;*;

A patient(***)s eyelid during trachoma surgery

;*;Nyaboth Pal, left, and Nyakal Bol, use buckets of water to wash equipment next to the autoclave and bag of charcoal that were used to sterilise equipment during the cataract and trachoma outreach programme ;*;The day after surgery, women cover their heads to protect their eyes from flies ;*;A woman cleans the hallways at the end of the day during the cataract and trachoma outreach programme ;*;A woman walks independently the day after her eye surgery;*;Michael Duel is led by his daughter Chol Juoch, while Michael’s sister Rebecca Nanyik, is led by his other daughter Nyantut along the Sobat River after their trachoma surgery in Nasir Daylife ID:
bcd2f21e76987f8f13d2bf4b236dac20
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera;*;Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Along the riverWhen residents of remote communities in South Sudan could not make it to the nearest hospital, a team of doctors went to them – performing trachoma operations without electricity or running water. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sighten-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:07:17 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/6da17b0a2103e9d4cd818f35d41fe87e

Nyaleni Lual Tut is examined in the consultation room during the cataract and trachoma outreach program in Nasir, Upper Nile, South Sudan, on August 30, 2013

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/6da17b0a2103e9d4cd818f35d41fe87eAdriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

Nyaleni Lual Tut is examined in the consultation room during the cataract and trachoma outreach program in Nasir, Upper Nile, South Sudan, on August 30, 2013

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/51163a055e68be61d339202fea71da2a

A patient's eyes are examined in the consultation room

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/51163a055e68be61d339202fea71da2aAdriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

A patient's eyes are examined in the consultation room

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/9dbde4ad2f58bd74954ee5fc9edb8a17

A woman takes a visual acuity test before being seen by a doctor 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/9dbde4ad2f58bd74954ee5fc9edb8a17Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

A woman takes a visual acuity test before being seen by a doctor 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/741d8f02013ce55818165284c5ec0d96

Trachoma surgeon Nyadeng Gatluak prepares for surgery 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/741d8f02013ce55818165284c5ec0d96Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

Trachoma surgeon Nyadeng Gatluak prepares for surgery 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/34a400bbceccba0ff9a2ccf2301eb886

Nyakuor Guek Palek is examined in the consultation room by Surgeon Wal Gach

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/34a400bbceccba0ff9a2ccf2301eb886Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

Nyakuor Guek Palek is examined in the consultation room by Surgeon Wal Gach

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/49ad43e33ac3b68029a144702c812f34

Olau Kacha Deng, 13, before his trachoma surgery. Olau was forced to drop out of school after losing his sight

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/49ad43e33ac3b68029a144702c812f34Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

Olau Kacha Deng, 13, before his trachoma surgery. Olau was forced to drop out of school after losing his sight

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/020889e58271892703403d2de57d3594

The surgical equipment used to perform trachoma operations

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/020889e58271892703403d2de57d3594Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

The surgical equipment used to perform trachoma operations

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/0e291bc139b9a749febb5b6da4fad325

Trachoma surgeon Calso Thubo Paul prepares patient Olau Kacha Deng, 13, for surgery.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/0e291bc139b9a749febb5b6da4fad325Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

Trachoma surgeon Calso Thubo Paul prepares patient Olau Kacha Deng, 13, for surgery.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/20d63a413ed82f230ef0e8dacb82c6ab

Using only the light from a window trachoma surgeon Calso Thubo Paul operates on both eyes of 13-year-old patient Olau Kacha Deng 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/20d63a413ed82f230ef0e8dacb82c6abAdriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

Using only the light from a window trachoma surgeon Calso Thubo Paul operates on both eyes of 13-year-old patient Olau Kacha Deng 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/6a4313f71ea30cdb5ec62fee1897d96a

A patient's eyelid during trachoma surgery

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/6a4313f71ea30cdb5ec62fee1897d96aAdriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

A patient's eyelid during trachoma surgery

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/d6ff4c24dfe069bc0b8d072eb1b7e2e1

Nyaboth Pal, left, and Nyakal Bol, use buckets of water to wash equipment next to the autoclave and bag of charcoal that were used to sterilise equipment during the cataract and trachoma outreach programme 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/d6ff4c24dfe069bc0b8d072eb1b7e2e1Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

Nyaboth Pal, left, and Nyakal Bol, use buckets of water to wash equipment next to the autoclave and bag of charcoal that were used to sterilise equipment during the cataract and trachoma outreach programme 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/4f5552d662e0da1f0a4d4d3d9de6c6e1

The day after surgery, women cover their heads to protect their eyes from flies 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/4f5552d662e0da1f0a4d4d3d9de6c6e1Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

The day after surgery, women cover their heads to protect their eyes from flies 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/4ef4dc2c9d67c243deb2100739a225bb

A woman cleans the hallways at the end of the day during the cataract and trachoma outreach programme 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/4ef4dc2c9d67c243deb2100739a225bbAdriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

A woman cleans the hallways at the end of the day during the cataract and trachoma outreach programme 

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/26699ed3b8044f091fd346cb1f52c551

A woman walks independently the day after her eye surgery

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/26699ed3b8044f091fd346cb1f52c551Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

A woman walks independently the day after her eye surgery

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/57a7d48a4cb6fd30e9cc2ce1e3b25968

Michael Duel is led by his daughter Chol Juoch, while Michael’s sister Rebecca Nanyik, is led by his other daughter Nyantut along the Sobat River after their trachoma surgery in Nasir

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Trachoma%3A_Surgery_to_save_sight/slideshow/no-caption/57a7d48a4cb6fd30e9cc2ce1e3b25968Adriane Ohanesian/ Al Jazeera

Michael Duel is led by his daughter Chol Juoch, while Michael’s sister Rebecca Nanyik, is led by his other daughter Nyantut along the Sobat River after their trachoma surgery in Nasir



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