A woman and her three children have gone blind in mysterious circumstances.
Having visited hospitals in vain, and with no money for specialised treatment, Dorothy Atieno has lost hope and resorted to prayers.
Ms Atieno, who is married to a cane cutter, said the situation was causing tension in the marriage.
Their first-born child, Valverine Adhiambo, a 16-year-old Form One student at Nyamonye Girls’ Secondary School in Bondo, Siaya County, also became blind while their sons Vincent Okoth, 9, and Benson Otieno, 3, are partially blind.
Ms Atieno’s ordeal began in May when she woke up as usual and headed to her shop in Ahero, Kisumu County, where she sells avocado and onions. But at 6 pm, as she prepared to go home, she felt a sensation in her eyes before realising she could not see. She took a motorcycle home.
The following day, she went to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and was referred to Sabatia Eye Clinic in Vihiga County. To her surprise, she was told that there was nothing wrong with her eyes and surgery was not necessary.
“I wondered what it was,” Ms Atieno recalled yesterday. “I made a second and a third trip to the hospital and, when I persisted, they referred me to Tenwek Hospital for specialised treatment.”
“Doctors are the same, and if Sabatia, which is specialised in eye problems, could not find the cause of my blindness, how sure am I that I will get help at Tenwek?” Ms Atieno wondered.
She lamented: “For six months I have not been able to help and my husband is feeling burdened, hence a lot of tension and quarrels in the house.”
Their daughter Ms Adhiambo said: “I had never had a problem with my eyesight but, on closing day eve, I started feeling as if there were stones in my eye. I went to bed but when I woke up in the morning I could not see.”