Mareth Zalasar, Cornea
Description of Project:
- Mareth Zalasar is a thirteen
year old daughter of a Mamanwa tribal couple in
Taganito, Claver. During a routine examination of
her younger sister that is a godchild, her parent
asked for help due to fading ability to see.
- It shows out that Mareth has
got a virus that has given her Post-Measles
Keratitis, which is a corneal opacity in the cornea.
Her left eye was growing blind, while her right eye
had a small visible green spot. The ophthalmologist
explained that her left eye was too late to save,
while he wanted to make a try in saving her right
The ophthalmologist explained that he thought that
this kind of disease was erased from the Philippines
already, since all children is given vaccination to
prevent this. Still, this child is a tribal, and
they don't attend any doctor, midwife or hospitals
in their region.
The only solution as he could see to give her the
sight back on her left eye is to find a cornea and
execute a transplantation of the cornea. This kind
of surgery is only executed in two places within the
Philippines, Metro Manila and Davao city. Since the
child not can be separated, or even brought with a
parent, or relative, to Manila, due to its belonging
to a local tribe that have no experience of such
journeys (they are too afraid to do), the only
option is to execute in Davao.
However, Davao is still far from the home of the
tribal child and her tribe, approximately 450-500km.
It is needed training and education to her parents
and tribal chieftain and council about her disease
and ability to cure, but also how to travel, eat and
live during the operation. The tribe is very
anomalistic, and has no trust to the modern medical
aid that can be given.
We are therefore in a situation in which we want to
prevent other to be blind by the same reasons, but
also help her out of her growing blindness. Most
important right now, since she is a grade two
student in the Elementary school and in the age in
which she easiest can learn reading.
We need therefore to aim financially for several
goals in the healing of Mareth Salazar. Namely:
Education to her parents about the disease and how
it can be treated and cured, also about nourishment
to prevent loss of vitamin A and other essential
vitamins for the function of the body.
Education to the tribal council about viruses and
how it can be to epidemic traps for the tribe
without vaccination. Why it is important to give
tribal members right to be vaccinated and what it
means to come to health check-up.
Education to teachers, village councillors, company
relation officer's, social workers and other, with
the tribal as a part in their territory, about how
to cooperate and coordinate medical help and
examinations in a way that the tribal can understand
and accept participation.
Vaccination of children against diseases, as decided
by the government’s health department for Philippine
Execution of transplantation of the cornea for
Mareth Salazar. Travel, food and lodging costs as
well as return visit to the hospital.
can be found to an adult within a month from the eye
bank in Manila, but in the case with Mareth, it is
not certain how long time it can take. The price is
set due to the analysis that the cornea must undergo
to be screened free from diseases as hepatitis, HIV
etc. and costs for transportation to Davao.
Chemical analysis costs are estimated to 20,000
pesos and other costs approximated to 5,000 pesos.
We estimate the total cost for the patient,
including fare, food, lodging and assistance to
approximate 15,000 pesos, which gives us a total of
approximate 40,000 pesos to treat Mareth.
will ask for your ability to give a donation since
this operation will give us expenses that are beyond
our savings, and as you see, we also tries to find
local sponsors through different charity programs,
government and other organizations.
case of Mareth, we will seek help from two other
in Claver, which is the municipality where Taganito
is the governmental organ for the indigenous people,
and they have funding for Mamanwa, as for other
tribes. In this case it is needed that the
chieftains are cooperative to us and the family, to
release money for this issue.
1 and 2 above, DMC take responsibility that money is
paid out to the hospital from these departments. The
only part they ask our assistance with, is that we
make sure that the patient brings a verification of
social status, a reference from the barangay captain
and doctors report from the ophthalmologist. Since
we have extra expenses, however, in shape of
transports, food, hotel, and hygiene utilities but
also because of the education we now need to start
to show the tribe the importance of vaccination to
the children, and even so to the adult, means that
we are very thankful if you want to give a gift for
total cost for the treatment, point 4 above, with
visit for evaluation and measurement and revisit for
the transplantation, including costs for the cornea,
has been estimated to approximately 40,000 pesos.
Costs for education is ongoing, but in any case, we
are happy for any donation of any size, since many
small donations gives us the opportunity to help as
well as one bigger. In case of turnover, it will be
saved to our account for children who need help with
CONCLUSION of finance
Collection of funds will be executed through two
projects numbers, CYP1101 and CYP1100.
Since CYP1101 is directed to the treatment of the
described child, money donated under that account
will be used for the costs pointed for her: fare,
food, lodging, assistance, and parent’s education,
parent following during treatment, return visit and
- If you want to contribute for the
help in this case, mark your payment one of following:
|THIS PROJECT IS FINALIZED
The project has reached the goal. The girl has
got her transplant, have a goos sight on her
eye, and is now back with her family.
- CORNEAL DAMAGE AND VITAMIN A
- Children with measles eat less
and suffer from diarrhoea, so that there is lower intake
of essential foods as well as poorer absorption. The
result can be a shortage of vitamin A for critical parts
of the body such as: the eye, the lining cells of the
airways leading to the lungs, the gut, and the immune
cells which are part of the defence system against
- Those children who have measles
and already have low levels of vitamin A in their liver
reserves may get severe vitamin A deficiency. One way
severe vitamin A deficiency damages the eye and
threatens sight is by drying and causing ulceration of
- The child in the slide has a
large corneal ulcer due to vitamin A deficiency after
measles. I'lic corneal ulcer appears yellow green on the
slide due to staining with fluoroscein. Only one eye was
affected in this child, although corneal ulcers due to
vitamin A deficiency after measles may affect both eyes
at the same time.
- This child was treated with
tetracycline 1% eye ointment three times daily for seven
days, given a pad to protect the eye, and also given
large doses of vitamin A supplements for two consecutive
days. The child was then brought back by the parents a
week later for examination of the eye and a further dose
of vitamin A supplement. Eventually the child ended up
with a white scar on the cornea, but still useful vision
in the eye.
- The point to note is that such
severe corneal damage could have been prevented if the
nutritional status of the child had been better before
measles infection, or if vitamin A supplements had been
given in the acute stage of measles infection.
- Delay in bringing the child to
treatment can cost the child partial loss of sight. It
could have been worse - the child might be completely