This article is part of HuffPost’s Project Zero campaign, a yearlong series on forgotten tropical diseases and efforts to fight them.
TOGA, Ethiopia — Fresh out of sight-saving eyelid surgery, Bugune sat fragile and exhausted on a bench in the shade, her son Birhane by her side.
“I was in such pain, ” said the mother of six, wrap in a shawl and with a thick bandage across her face, as she recalled the agony of recent months. Since 2015, her eyelashes had been curling into her eye, scratching and scratching against the cornea until it was too painful to lift the eyelids to see.
“I had tears falling from my eyes, but it hurt too much to wipe them. I had a headache all the time, so I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t go to the market; I couldn’t go to weddings.”