Surgeon Haddy Sohna smiles with one of her patients, a grandfather and local educator named Iman.
Haddy Sohna approaches her work with a rare sense of ease. Taking care of four children would be a full-time job for most, but Haddy manages to balance that responsibility with her work as both a cataract surgeon and partnership coordinator for HelpMeSee’s The Gambia Sees campaign.
Haddy’s journey in healthcare began almost three decades ago, not long after she was born. When she was younger, her mother worked for years as a nurse in Barra, a community on the north bank of the River Gambia. Her mother’s passion for helping others rubbed off on Haddy, who decided to follow a similar track into nursing.
Haddy worked her way up from her first job in healthcare to earn an advanced diploma in Surgical Ophthalmic Nursing. It is a unique program in Africa that trains and certifies nurses in cataract surgery. Today she’s one of the top cataract surgeons in The Gambia and estimates that she has restored sight to more than 500 people since she became certified.