Mette Kjaer Kinoti, Helen Keller Intl Vice President for Africa, recently visited Mali and met with some beneficiaries of the End Fund NTDs MMDP project in the health districts of Markala and Bla. During her visit, she met 65 year old Tieson from Markala. He lives in a remote village that is 45 km from the nearest health district. For the past five years, he has lived with a hydrocele the size of a plastic “bouilloire” (approximatively 3-4 liters). It was difficult for him to walk and to sit, because of the weight and size of the hydrocele, but he could not afford surgery. He avoided going to the village meetings with other heads of households because he was embarrassed for others to see, especially because he had to be careful not to sit on his hydrocele.
Through Helen Keller Intl, Tieson received a free, successful operation. Finally, he was able to live like he had before the illness, explaining “Now I walk straight and do not need to avoid public places.” When we asked about his future plans after his recovery, he replied: “I want to take care of the education of my youngest who is 17 years old.” As a final word, he said: “I thank the doctors and Helen Keller who allowed me to be released from my burden”.