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Sight saving in Ethiopia

2018 marks the twentieth time our supporters have helped fund Flying Eye Hospital sight-saving missions in Ethiopia!

For more than 20 years, Orbis, in partnership with Mass Drug Administration (MDA), has successfully established an eye care system in the rural south of Ethiopia, the creation of the first pediatric ophthalmology clinic and the first pediatric ophthalmology department, in collaboration with hospitals and academic, we have trained more than 10,000 eye care faculty.

Drama promoting eye health in Ethiopia.

Trachoma is known to be one of the major causes of blindness in Ethiopia. Due to poor hygiene and lack of health education knowledge in poor areas of Ethiopia, many local people suffer from trachoma because of bacterial infection. If there is no treatment received in time after diagnosed trachoma, their vision will be impaired or even cause blindness.

Orbis is determined to eliminate the threat of trachoma to local people in Ethiopia. For the last 20 years, Orbis has been harnessing the World Health Organization’s “SAFE” elimination strategy here. In addition to eyelid surgery,we distributed 44.5 million doses of antibiotic in Ethiopia to prevent the spread of the disease. Also, we have been supporting the development of Ethiopia’s first eye bank treating corneal blindness since 2003.

Hong Kong and Macau donors visited the only eye bank in Ethiopia.

A Face Filled With Tears

For two long years, tears replaced the smile that should have lit up Asegedech’s face. Trachoma roughens the inside of her eyelids, so every blink feels like sandpaper causing sufferers to weep in pain. Instead of bringing her daughter to the doctor, Asegedech’s superstitious Mum turned to traditional healers for cure - merely causing the girl’s condition to worsen. With tears flowing down her cheeks in a seemingly endless stream, Asegedech thought she was doomed to cry for the rest of her life.

While disease may harm, love possesses the power to cure! Orbis has now been providing large-scale eye care services in Africa for over a decade so while our two African children’s stories may sound miserable, they do have happy endings! Last year, Asegedech met Tsehay, an Orbis- trained public nurse, who healed her trachoma and mercifully freed her from a lifetime of uncontrollable tears.

"Trachoma is a very painful and infectious eye disease that tortures countless Ethiopian women and kids. Happily, Orbis has helped by pioneering the provision of early stage eye care services in remote areas where there are few ophthalmologists. As an Orbis trainee supported by their medical and technical resources, I am genuinely humbled to be able to help save such rural patients’ sight." said Tsehay.

Be Part of the Solution

The coming years will see us continue to train or educate Ethiopian eye specialists and healthcare professionals and teachers, as well as community and women’s group leaders about eyecare. Please act now and be part of the solution, together we can help end avoidable blindness!

Action for Sight 2018

Help end avoidable blindness
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