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Eight people lose eyesight over improper medication

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By MARTIN OKUDI & FELIX WAROM OKELLO

Posted  Tuesday, May 8  2012 at  00:00

In Summary

The cause is attributed to patients seeking traditional rather than clinical treatment.

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ADJUMANI.

Until recently, Winnie Adrupio, a resident of Adjumani District, had perfect sight. However, a visit to a traditional healer has impaired her.
The visit came after her parents advised Adrupio to do so when her eyes began itching.
But conflict of interest arose when she insisted to visit professional medical personnel for advice.

Adrupio’s parents did not heed to her pleas and forced her to visit a traditional healer, claiming their daughter had been bewitched.

In her narration to Daily Monitor at the weekend, Adrupio said when one of her eyes began itching, her parents claimed she had been bewitched and therefore medicine from the health centre could not help much.

“It was through pressure from my parents that I applied the herbs at least three times a day and when I reported to the health facility, the pain intensified,” she said.
Now Adrupio is among the eight people who have lost their eyesight due to wrong medication and continuous use of traditional medicine.

“I was shocked when the clinical officers told me that I cannot see again because of the damage I got. All the work that I used to do is now no more,” she added.
Reports from the eye clinic at Adjumani Hospital indicate that seven of the blind cases were reported in the month of March alone with one of the cases reported in the beginning of April.

The Senior Ophthalmic Clinical Officer, Mr Tom Labite, said there are no chances of recovery of the eyesight of the eight people. “The persistent use of poisonous medicines mixed with smoke has destroyed their eye cornea which has resulted into corneal ulcer of the eye,” Mr Labite told this newspaper.

He said interventions through use of available medicines like Atropine eye drop, Gentamycin and Povidon iodine to clear the accumulated toxic all proved futile since most of the patients reported late to the facility as their conditions were dire.

Mr Labite added that those who have lost their eye sight complained of experiencing initial red eye on one side of the eye associated with severe pain, tearing and fear of light, including reduced vision.

One of the traditional herbalists, who preferred not to be named, said some of them operate in the district legally because they have operation licence they acquired from the relevant district authorities.

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