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Wanjala Were's Story

Wanjala Were a Ninety two year old man hails from Sirigoi sublocation Matoli area . He has five children three boys and two girls but none of them live with him. He has spent most of his  life in solitude ever since his wife died in 1970.After  his wife's death he tried to remarry but later divorced.

During his early years he was a goal keeper for North Nyanza football team .Other than that he was  working as an administration police where  he served as a chief messenger.

Wanjala Were

Wanjala relaxing after admission

Wanjala had two acres of land but the land  has since been sold by his sons leaving him with only a small .He says ‘shamba yangu imeuzwa na watoto wangu na wakahama kwenda scheme.Wameniachia kipande kidogo tu cha kuzikwa .’ meaning, ‘My land has been sold by my sons who have since migrated to settle in "scheme." They have left a small potion for my  burial.’

His main source of survival has been begging  as he lived alone but sometimes his brother's  wife came to his aid and cooked for him. To Wanjala, movement had been hard as he could not easily  find someone to lead him around. When he was lucky at times, his brothers grand children assisted him but, mostly he had to struggle on his own. He said life had been hard for him, he  had nowhere to get food , no one to help and he even preffered death .

Wanjala Were
Wanjala after visual acuity test

Wanjala came to Friends church Sabatia eye hospital with a vision of (HM)  in both eyes meaning he could only see hand movements. The problem started in April 2012 and  had not sought any treatment as he had no money to get to a hospital. After  surgery in his  right eye, he could see up to a distance of three metres .The happy wanjala could not hide his joy, ‘the doctor has really helped me.I won't bother people to guide me around again but my problem still remains how to get food.’  Wanjala like many other elderly people, face a problem of neglect, hunger and poverty .These could be sited as the main reasons  why most elderly patients come to the hospital when their condition has deteriorated .

Wanjala Were

A happy Wanjala a few minutes before discharge

Vision problem is  more common in the aged but with such  a program, many elderly people can get back their life. There is therefore need to increase these  services to other areas so as eye care could be accessible  to  many more elderly people like Wanjala.


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