Over 11,200 free eye tests provided in Ethiopia in six months through QFFD and Orbis Project
Thanks to the support of the Qatar Fund for Development, international eye care charity Orbis is working with partners in Ethiopia to tackle the blinding eye infection, Trachoma. The project falls under the Qatar Creating Vision initiative and was launched in April this year. In the first six months, over 11,200 eye screenings have been provided to identify those with the condition, as well as those with other vision loss issues.
Trachoma is a is highly contagious disease, but it is easily preventable and treatable through the World Health organisation’s SAFE strategy: Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial Cleanliness, Environmental improvements. In rural Ethiopia, the burden of the disease remains high, as medical support can be hard to reach and through repeated infection in adults, Trachoma Trichiasis can develop, which causes excruciating pain.
As a result of the extensive eye screenings, almost 900 surgeries for Trachoma Trichiasis and Cataract have been undertaken, alongside almost 300 training opportunities for eye health professionals and community leaders/teachers, to provide comprehensive eye care services and strengthen referral pathways.
Mr. Sultan Al-Aseeri, Deputy Director General for projects in Qatar Fund for Development, stated: “QFFD is strongly dedicated to support eye health across the world following the mandates of the initiative of Qatar Creating Vision in partnership with Orbis. It comes with great joy and pride to witness the success of this partnership that offered eye screenings to tackle eye health issues that are widely spread in the communities in Ethiopia. We have trust that this partnership with Orbis will continue its efforts to provide the best health support to eliminate and tackle vision loss issues in vulnerable communities.”
Between 2016 and 2020 in India and Bangladesh, thanks to the generosity of the Qatar Fund for Development, Orbis and their strategic partners provided more than 6 million eye tests and treatments, mainly to children, through Qatar Creating Vision. The project in Ethiopia is the first activity of Phase Two of the initiative.
Rebecca Cronin, CEO of Orbis UK said: “Through the Qatar Fund for Development’s support, the first six months of the project has reached thousands of people, looking for those with eye conditions and assisting them with the treatments they need. With our partners in Ethiopia, we are reaching those with sight loss conditions which can impact a child’s education or an adult’s livelihood. Glasses, surgery and antibiotics can all change someone’s life. It is thanks to the generosity of organisations such as the Qatar Fund for Development that we’re able to complete this work across the world.”
Orbis has been transforming lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for four decades. With a close network of partners, they mentor and train local eye care teams – from community workers to doctors and nurses – so that they can save and restore vision in their communities.