Gang activity is still endemic in the area and the communities in which we work provide security for the workers overnight. Nevertheless, we were able to go back twice in 2019 to have time with the team and are extremely grateful to Medical Missionary News for facilitating the entire team coming to meet us for a week of fellowship, prayer, study and training in September last year. Though we had to meet outside the Delta we were able to seek the Lord together and to once more lay the mission down. It is so easy as humans to run ahead with ideas of man and our own thinking, and we know from the Word that there are ways that seem right to men but in them lies the way of death! Because of this we always spend much of our time together seeking the Lord to learn what He would have us do, so that, in all we undertake and discuss, we are looking for God’s direction.
Alanna Carson, who was held hostage with us for three weeks, has now joined the mission as a trustee. A trained Optometrist, she came back with us to Nigeria to invest in the eye team who Ian Squire had initially trained, to continue his legacy.
Glaucoma and refractive errors are a serious problem in sub Saharan Africa, and we have been able to purchase a tonometer to screen for glaucoma, which is second only to cataract as the main cause of blindness, and yet amenable to treatment if caught early.
We continue to provide prescription glasses; a unique service in such a rural area. And yet, without a simple pair of glasses, threading a needle or the ability to mend a fishing net by kerosene lamp can spell economic ruin.
The burden of cataract remains high and the security of the region is un-attractive for many surgeons to visit. We are looking to send those blind with bilateral cataracts to more regional centres for treatment where possible. To see a patient’s sight restored is a marvellous thing, as the young girl evidences from our last cataract camp; the mask like expression gives way to such an engaging and communicative smile.