South Sudan’s First Female Eye Surgeon Restores Sight to Thousands

Dr. Aja Kuol performing eye surgery. CREDIT: Jenny Davies/MAF

Dr. Aja Kuol, the first female eye surgeon in South Sudan, is on a mission to restore sight to the nation’s most vulnerable and isolated communities. As one of only four eye surgeons in the country, Dr Kuol travels to remote villages, often in partnership with Mission Aviation Fellowship, to perform sight-saving operations on patients suffering from conditions such as trachoma and cataracts.

South Sudan, a country ravaged by decades of conflict, lacks infrastructure and accessible healthcare, making Dr. Kuol’s work even more critical. She and her team treat up to 100 patients a day, camping in the bush during their outreach missions. In 2023 alone, they provided treatment to nearly 4,700 people across seven locations.

Dr. Kuol’s dedication stems from her own experience of displacement during the Second Sudanese War. Despite the challenges, she pursued her education and became an eye surgeon, driven by a desire to help her community. She hopes to inspire young women to prioritize their education and leave a lasting legacy.

“I’ve always felt like I should go home to help my community and open eyes for other people to be able to also enjoy their life,” Dr. Kuol said in an interview with The Telegraph.

Read the full article by Lilia Sebouai in the April 4, 2024 issue of The Telegraph: How South Sudan’s first female eye doctor is saving thousands from blindness

Listen to an interview with Dr. Kuol on Radio Miraya:

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