Fighting Blindness in Ethiopia | Orbis
Patient Aylito, who has a cataract, looks off to the side

Fighting Blindness in Ethiopia

Orbis has been fighting avoidable blindness in Ethiopia since 1998.

With our local partners, we are leading the fight to eliminate trachoma in Southern Ethiopia. We are also providing training to local eye care workers and helping to strengthen community eye care.

Our work in Ethiopia includes a focus on eliminating trachoma

Avoidable Blindness in Ethiopia

Eye care in Ethiopia faces major challenges.

These include a lack of eye health workers and the high prevalence of trachoma.

A 2020 survey by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness estimates 8.8 million people are living with vision loss in Ethiopia. Out of this number, 780,000 people are blind.

Major causes of vision loss in Ethiopia include cataracts, glaucoma, refractive error and trachoma.

Trachoma is the largest cause of infectious blindness in the world. Recent years have seen the elimination of trachoma from a number of other countries. Now, 52% of the global population at risk from this blinding eye disease live in Ethiopia.

Saving Sight in Ethiopia

In the past 25 years Orbis have played a leading role in:

  • Delivering over 100 million doses of the trachoma-fighting-antibiotic, azithromycin, in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region (SNNPR)
  • Delivering more than 217,000 sight-saving surgeries
  • Achieving the elimination threshold for trachoma in 48 districts
  • Helping to train hundreds of optometrists and ophthalmologists

Thanks to our supporters, and the hard work and dedication of our local staff and program partners in Ethiopia.

Impact In 2022

What's Next?

In 2023, we marked the milestone of our 100 millionth dose of the trachoma-fighting antibiotic, azithromycin.

With our partners in Ethiopia and a global coalition, we are working towards the Word Health Organisation (WHO) target of global trachoma elimination by 2030.

Orbis is also working to make sure that sustainable eye care is accessible to everyone.

That means providing access to treatments for cataract, refractive error and glaucoma and for treatment that requires more specialised eye care.

Help support our sight saving work across Africa and Asia

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