Patient Aylito, who has a cataract, looks off to the side


Almost six million people in Ethiopia are blind or visually impaired. Cataracts are the leading cause, affecting some 1.7 million people. The country also accounts for 30% of trachoma in sub-Saharan African countries, or 1.2 million people. With only 130 ophthalmologists in the country, there is a severe shortage of eye health professionals.

Orbis in Ethiopia

Orbis International supports 15 eye care projects across Ethiopia.

Since 2007, Orbis Ireland has focused its support on a comprehensive eye care project across 26 districts within the SNNP region of Ethiopia. We work to tackle the leading causes of avoidable blindness - trachoma, refractive error and cataracts - in a region of 3.6 million people.

When we started working in Ethiopia in 1998 the population was around 65 million. Two decades later it has nearly doubled to 105 million. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 1.8 million or 1.6% of the Ethiopian population is blind and 4.1 million or 3.7% live with low vision. This falls significantly above the world average of 1.2% and 3.4% respectively.

Can you help the people of Ethiopia?

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How We're Making a Difference


  • Federal Ministry of Health
  • The Charities and Societies Agency
  • Regional Health, Education, Finance and Economic Development Bureau
  • District level sector offices
  • ICTC
  • NCBP
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