Education Human Rights Interview

“The Doctor Advised me to go to a Pastor to Pray for Me to Recover My Sight”

By Yvon Brenda Bageire

“I still see my friend and her mum kneeling in front of my mum crying, but my mum is just quarrelling at them. Even though I cannot see now, this image is very clear when I sleep.”

Misigalo Nusula the second born among seven children is the only blind one in her family. The seventeen year old girl lost her sight twelve, in 2012.

“I came back from school one day with a headache. I couldn’t revise and I had a blurred vision, I couldn’t see well. My mother took me to a hospital in Jinja but the doctor said that nothing was being detected and advised us to go to Mengo Hospital.” Nusula said.

While at Mengo Hospital, the doctor informed them that Nusula’s eyes had low pressure but she could not operate on them, saying they would accuse her of damaging Nusula’s eyes. She then advised them to go to a pastor to pray for her to recover her sight.

Some eyes are more sensitive to high pressure while others are easily troubled by low pressures. When the eye pressure is too low, it can cause several distortions of the retina, lens and cornea which can degrade vision.

“Pastor Jackson Ssenyonga in Bwaise told me that local herbs were put in my Math book and all the other pastors kept telling me that witchcraft medicine was put in my book. At first I didn’t believe it but ever since I started getting that dream that keeps coming to me, I also started believing that my friend be witched me,” Nusula narattes. “I also remember when I opened my Mathematics book, some leaves came out and maybe that is the time when I started feeling a headache.” Nusula narrates.

A report by the Daily Monitor written by Mark Kirumira shows that about six million people in Uganda believe in witchcraft. This survey was conducted by US-based pew research centre. The churches today preach against witchcraft and also show that many problems that befall people these days are caused by their friends and family that could be jealous. Similarly, Nusula was a bright student who believes that her friend was jealous pushing her do this treacherous act to her.

Nusula that was in primary six about to cross over to her last year in primary could no longer push through with school. She spent three years without studying and later her Mother took her to a technical school in 2016 for hair dressing. She practiced from a saloon near her home. A question that might arise is “How can a blind person plait hair?” I had the same question too but she was taught all styles and if someone tells her what she wants, she can easily plait it. Especially Braids.

She spent all 2017 at home alone, as her siblings went to school. She demanded to go to school too.

“I told my mum to at least get me a school for the blind so that I can go there and also study.”

That is how she ended up at Salama School for the blind in 2018. She did an interview and was taken to primary six. She is currently learning how to write using the Braille, a writing system used by people who are visually impaired.

“I want to be a Teacher when I grow up. This was not my first dream because I had always wanted to be a doctor but I was told the blind cannot be doctors.”

Do you want to be a teacher for the blind? I ask.

With a blush on her face, she says “no”, but hopes that she will be able to see again because sometimes she can sense it when someone is in front of her and can see shadows of people especially when she is in the light.

When I looked up into the sun with my eyes closed, I saw shadows too when I opened my eyes and tried to see. I was saddened at the realization that there is little hope for Nusula to regain her eyesight.

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