Sunday 13 March, the EFA team departed Addis at 5.30am for the 12 hour road trip to Semera. The next day we drove another 10 hours to Dalifaghi via Logiya to collect our equipment.

The Dalifaghi hospital was only 7 years old. Dalifahgi itself was established only 12 years earlier so there was no accommodation. Adu Nigussie, our tour guide, provided tents, our cook and all our food.

The operating rooms were clean and there was a shower room and western toilet. Unfortunately the taps were not connected so water for washing and flushing the toilet was provided in large plastic drums. Nuru Mohammed Dima, the Hospital Manager, was very supportive. He had set aside 30 beds for our patients in the adjacent building. The bed sheets were changed each day and patient meals were provided by the hospital free of charge. Prior to EFA's arrival mobilization had been carried out by radio and mosque announcements and the local bush telegraph known as ‘Dagu’ ensuring there were many patients waiting for us.

Many patients traveled from the surrounding areas in the Dalifaghi and Dawe Woredas sometimes over long distances. One patient walked 180 kms in 4 days with wife and baby to have a cataract operation.

We screened 508 patients. Total cataract surgeries 164 (females 94, males 70). Pterygiums 3. Removal of corneal foreign body 1. Trachoma Trichiasis 27. 75% of patients attended the post-op clinics.. All patients were given sunglasses.


We arrived at the Berhale Health Centre on March 28. Nurse Aster Negu who we sent ahead of us and had already registered 25 cataract patients. Our tents were set up on building rubble from a new building that was under construction. The squat toilet and shower room were in a small concrete building nearby.

Berhale is in the desert and the temperature was similar to Dalifaghi. This time of the year it ranged from the low thirties at night to high thirties during the day. Electricity was very unreliable. Our new donated Honda generator was used most days. The temperature never got below 32 degrees at night and the humidity caused us to sweat all the time. A very violent storm flattened half the tents one night and flooded everything in them. Half the roof blew off the building next to where the tents were pitched and the hospital grounds went under 40cm of water.

Many patients came from the surrounding areas some traveling 320kms.

Patients screened – 538. Total cataracts 104, (females 49, males 55). Pterygiums - 6 . All patients were given sunglasses

25 patients came to their second post-op check. Nurse Aster stayed in Berhale for 4 days to check further post-op patients.