Thursday, June 20, 2013

Children who can only see in the dark

As we walk into the home of Monica Litei, the mother of five smiles as she welcomes us into her house. 

The 32-year-old mother has raised two children with a rare eye condition that leaves them blind from dusk to dawn. A closer look at the children, shows squinted and fast-blinking eyes during the day but at dusk, the eyes return to normal.

Ms Litei, who lives with her family at Kapchebogel village at the edge of Kasisit escarpment in Baringo North District, Baringo County says her two children, Dennis, 12, and Winny, 8, had normal eyes at birth. 

She says during the day they would squint their eyes, but at around 7pm the children would open their eyes.

“At night they are active, they play on their own, they lock up the sheep and I can even send them to a neighbour’s home to bring me anything but during the day I lead them to school and back,” narrates Litei. Two others are normal while the fate of her one-year-old, she says, is yet to be known.

The eyesight condition occurred at intervals among the five children with the first and third born being normal while the second and fourth born have the rare condition. She says the condition might not be inherited as none of her family members have it.

She says she took the children to Kabarnet District Hospital where she was referred to Nakuru Provincial General Hospital eye unit.

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